LLM Bar Practice


The LLM Bar Practice is the vocational course that enables students with a qualifying Law Degree (or who have covered the 7 foundations of legal knowledge) or Graduate Diploma in Law (or MA Law or similar) to be called to the Bar and to commence pupillage. Once pupillage is completed the students are fully qualified barristers, eligible for a full practising certificate.

The course is also attended by overseas students planning to practise law in their home jurisdictions because the course has a strong reputation, can advance them further up the „ladder” and also is excellent training for lawyers. It is often prestigious in many common law jurisdictions to have been Called to the Bar in the UK. Some students embark upon to the course to learn the skills to assist them in their job but do not necessarily intend to practise as barristers. 

The students study and are assessed in 10 subjects areas: Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing; Civil Litigation and Evidence including Resolution of Disputes out of Court (2 combined assessments); Professional Ethics; Advocacy (three assessments); Opinion Writing; Drafting; and Conference skills. The first two subjects (Criminal and Civil) are the Knowledge subjects and the assessments for these are set externally by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The remaining subjects are known as the skills subjects. The subjects studied by the students are those which a barrister needs to be competent in and which would make them ready to start pupillage.

The „centralised assessments” i.e. those set by the BSB are notoriously hard to pass. There is a direct correlation between students who have high previous academic achievement and those who pass the centralised assessments. The centralised assessments are closed book assessments (except for the second civil paper but it has the same syllabus as the first closed book civil paper) and a wide syllabus has to be learnt for each. The students have many opportunities to practise the skills subjects with up to 50 hours of advocacy available on the course.  The students study all the compulsory subjects but there are 2 start dates for the FT course July whereby the students study just litigation until September and then start to learn the skills and the September start where they study the skills and litigation concurrently. July starters sit the centralised assessments in December and September starters sit them in April with other assessments occuring during and towards the end of the each course.  The PTW course only has 1 start date – September – but the students study criminal litigation and related skills in year 1 and Civil litigation and related skills at the end of year 1 and in year 2.

Additionally,  for the LLM element of the course the students have 3 routes to a Master’s. These are undertaken in addition to the modules in the BPC which confers a Post graduate diploma upon the students.  They can  undertake pro bono legal cases under the Legal Advice Clinic at their centre. They will take part of the Full Representation Service which includes representing lay clients in courts and tribunals. They can also undertake a dissertaion with supervision. Finally they can alternatively sit credit bearing optional modules. The LLM element means that the students will qualify with a Masters at the end of the course. They will have gained valuable work experience by undertaking real life cases which will assist in their ability to perform well on the BPC, or will have researched an additional legal practice area in depth or they will have studied additional areas all of which will significantly enhance their CV, their expertise and employability. Finally the students who take the LLM will be eligible for a Student Finance England loan if they are either English or from the EU.   


The classes are generally 2 hours long . Teaching  is over 2 or 3 days per week and is supplemented by online learning making it a blended learning course. 

For the pro bono LLM students meet regularly with their supervisor and work with their student partner(s) on the cases – meeting clients, writing letters of advice, pleadings and representing the clients at hearings etc. For the dissertation LLM students meet with their supervisor but largely self study. For the optional module LLM student attend scheduled classes (face to face or online).

Start & end dates


Full Time Start Date: 1 July 2021 (induction & teaching)
End date: 23 May 2022 (Pro Bono LLM), 26 August 2022 (Optional Modules LLM), 20 June 2022 (Dissertation LLM)

September 2021:
Full Time Start Date:  13 September 2021 (induction) and 20 September 2021 (teaching starts)
End date: 10 June 2022 (Pro Bono LLM), 26 August 2022 (Optional Modules LLM), 8 July 2022 (Dissertation LLM)

Part Time Start Date: 18 September 2021 (teaching & induction)
End date: 9 June 2023 (Pro Bono LLM), 25 August 2023 (Optional Modules LLM), 7 July 2023 (Dissertation LLM)

January 2022:
Full time start date: 4 January 2022 (induction & teaching)
End date : 6 January 2023 (Pro Bono LLM), 20 January 2023 (Optional Modules LLM), 6 January 2023 (Dissertation LLM)

June 2022:
Full Time Start Date: 30 June 2022 (teaching & induction)
End date: 26 May 2023 (Pro Bono LLM), 25 August 2023 (Optional Modules LLM), 23 June 2023 (Dissertation LLM)

September 2022:
Full Time Start Date: 12 September 2022 (induction) and 19 September 2022 (teaching starts)
End date: 9 June 2023 (Pro Bono LLM), 25 August 2023 (Optional Modules LLM), 7 July 2023 (Dissertation LLM)

Part Time Start Date: 17 September 2022 (teaching & induction)
End date: 7 June 2024 (Pro Bono LLM), 23 August 2024 (Optional Modules LLM), 5 July 2024 (Dissertation LLM)

January 2023:
Full time start date: 3 January 2023 (induction & teaching)
End date: 8 September 2023 (Pro Bono LLM), 11 January 2024 (Optional Modules LLM), 6 October 2023 (Dissertation LLM)

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