Taught course

Bar Course LLM

Northumbria University · Faculty of Business and Law

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in Law or a minimum of a Commendation in the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree or a Pass in the GDL will be considered exceptionally on an individual basis.

All applicants are required to join one of the four Inns of Court before commencing the course, and applicants must pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) introduced by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard as specified by the BSB within the past five years. For more information please visit www.barstandardsboard.org.uk.

Months of entry


Course content

In a demanding and rapidly changing legal landscape, the highest quality training is required to succeed as a barrister. Northumbria University’s Bar Course LLM will support you in acquiring the necessary knowledge and practical skills crucial to practice at the modern Bar.

Northumbria’s approach to Bar training replicates professional practice more closely than ever.

You will study:

  • Civil Litigation (incorporating evidence and Alternative Dispute Resolution)
  • Criminal Litigation (incorporating evidence and sentencing)
  • Advocacy
  • Conferencing
  • Drafting
  • Opinion Writing
  • Legal Research
  • Professional Ethics

The Bar Course LLM will apply your knowledge and skills to practice in a broad range of briefs focused upon the foundational areas of pupillage and early practice - family, civil and criminal law. You will develop your skills in Advocacy, Conferencing, Drafting and Opinion Writing within the simulated context of these briefs, and this invaluable, practical experience will equip you to be immediately effective in pupillage.

A Masters in Law offers you the opportunity to enhance your profile and experience by gaining an internationally recognised LLM qualification in addition to your Bar Course. At Northumbria we offer Bar students two possible routes to the LLM Project qualification: a traditional dissertation focusing on the in-depth critical examination of a substantive area of law of your choosing of between 10,000 – 15,000 words; or a combination of clinical experience gained in the Student Law Office, together with and extended piece of written work of between 8,000 and 10,000 words (SLO Bar Project).

Through your LLM Project you will develop professional skills necessary for practice, expanding on your legal knowledge, your legal application and your ability to critically analyse and reflect on law, practice and policy. In an increasingly competitive market, this offers you an additional pathway to differentiate your qualification and to enhance your future employability.

Northumbria’s Bar Course LLM is led by a team of highly experienced barristers, and supported by our well-established network of guest speakers including members of the Bar, Judges, and other relevant professionals, including forensic scientists.

You will benefit from generous contact hours throughout the course – including dedicated exam-focused teaching sessions – in which the teaching team will share their expertise to support you in preparing for the Bar Standards Board (BSB) centralised assessments.

You may also gain, at no further cost and additional qualification in mediation.

Northumbria delivers many opportunities to develop distinctive knowledge and skills through:

  • Vulnerable witness training
  • Practitioner advocacy masterclasses
  • Advocacy training involving non-civilian witnesses and expert witnesses, for example Crime Scene Investigators, Police Officers and Social Workers (please note, the range of witnesses may change year on year).
  • Teaching in respect of forensic science and forensic statistics
  • Participation in international mooting competitions
  • A mentoring scheme in conjunction with the Bar

Together these opportunities will allow you to distinguish yourself in a competitive environment and ultimately thrive in this prestigious profession.

Information for international students

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 227 4453