Taught course

Bar Professional Training Course

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Law and Politics

Entry requirements

Please see our website for the entry requirements of this course.

Months of entry


Course content

The LLM Bar Training Course (BTC) offers intensive, postgraduate-level study to those who wish to qualify as a barrister but who also wish to undertake research at Master’s level. You will take this course after undergraduate study and before the period of work-based learning, also known as pupillage.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) requires individuals to meet a specific standard of learning outcomes, set out in their Professional Statement for Barristers, in order to be considered competent and fit to progress to the pupillage/work-based component of training. This programme enables you to acquire the skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence for you to meet that criteria.

The programme aims to foster a professional and ethical approach to practice as a barrister, whilst giving you an informed view of a barrister’s working life and the opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing the legal profession in today’s world.

You will be taught by tutors who have all practised as barristers or solicitors and whose ethos is one of friendly professionalism and mutual respect. Our teaching is timetabled between Monday and Thursday (i.e. no more than four days), to provide time for personal study.

To complement your academic studies, we offer a range of pioneering pro-bono projects in which you can work for real clients under supervision from professionals, gaining hands-on experience of the law in practice. Other activities, such as mooting, negotiating and client interviewing competitions, are also available to you. These opportunities are designed to increase your confidence and resilience, and your transferable/employability skills. In further support of your employability skills, we offer on-site expert careers advice to support you with pupillage applications and interviews.

In addition, following successful completion of the taught components of the programme, you will complete a research module that will develop your legal research skills and knowledge. This takes the form of either a Research Project, based on BTC subjects, or (subject to meeting the relevant criteria) a Reflective Portfolio, based upon pro bono or legal work experience. This will enable you to reflect on the challenges facing the legal profession in today’s world.

On successful completion of the LLM Bar Training Course you will be eligible to be called to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to meeting the qualifying session requirement of your Inn of Court).

Note: Before you enrol on the LLM BTC, you are required to become a member of one of the four Inns of Court. To be eligible for admission to an Inn a person must be assessed by the Inn as being a “fit and proper” person to become a practising barrister. For more information on the matters that must be declared on an application to join an Inn please visit the Bar Standards Board website.

Information for international students

All applicants, subject to the exemptions set out below, must have a certificate evidencing a minimum score of:

  • 7.5 in each section of the IELTS academic test; or
  • 73 in each part of the Pearson Test of English (academic)

The above tests must have been taken within two years of the course start date and all required scores must have been achieved in one sitting of the test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • LLM
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)29 2087 0084