Average BPTC fee drops by just £72 as law schools release 2017/18 prices

ULaw cuts course cost by 8% but Northumbria and Cardiff increase theirs by 6%

Law school price lists for the forthcoming academic year have revealed that the average Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) fee has dropped by just £72.

Last year, the average aspiring barrister paid £15,640 to secure a place on the vocational course. Now, with law schools across the country releasing their 2017/18 BPTC fees this month, this average sits at £15,568, a drop of 0.4% (£72).

This reduction comes thanks to The University of Law (ULaw), the only BPTC provider to cut the cost of its course this year. New fees, published on its website, reveal that wannabe barristers looking to start the course this year will have to pay £17,500. This marks a drop of 8% on last year’s fees which stood at £19,040. The law school — which unveiled a new BPTC/LLM back in December — has also cut fees at its Leeds and Birmingham outposts. Dropping them from £15,480 to £14,500, this equates to a reduction of 7.5%.

Elsewhere, a number of providers have chosen to up their fees.

Both Cardiff Law School (now £15,200) and Northumbria University at Newcastle (£13,250) have bumped up fees by 6%. Nottingham Trent University’s BPTC will now set a student back £14,400 (up 2.1%), meanwhile City Law School — which is in the process of building a new £30 million law faculty — has upped fees by 2.7% to £18,500. The University of the West of England’s Bristol Law School has increased the cost of the vocational course by 1.1%, taking final fees to £13,950.

BPP Law School and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have both opted to freeze BPTC costs this year. BPP’s London fees sit at £19,070, while those wishing to study at the legal education giant’s Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester outposts will continue to pay £15,680. MMU’s fees sit as £14,480.

The fee news comes just months after the Bar Council called for a radical revamp to the way aspiring barristers are educated. Backed by the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC), Bar Council big wigs put forward proposals that could see the BPTC split into two parts, with law school attendance compulsory for only the second half.

2017/18 Bar Professional Training Course Fees (Most Expensive to Least Expensive):

Law School

2016/17 Fees

2017/18 Fees

% difference

BPP (London) £19,070 £19,070 0%
City Law School £18,000 £18,500 2.7%
University of Law (London) £19,040 £17,500 -8%
BPP (Birmingham) £15,680 £15,680 0%
BPP (Leeds) £15,680 £15,680 0%
BPP (Manchester) £15,680 £15,680 0%
Cardiff Law School £14,340 £15,200 6%
University of Law (Birmingham) £15,480 £14,500 -7.5%
University of Law (Leeds) £15,480 £14,500 -7.5%
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) £14,480 £14,480 0%
Nottingham Trent University £14,100 £14,400 2.1%
The University of the West of England’s Bristol Law School £13,795 £13,950 1.1%
Northumbria University at Newcastle £12,500 £13,250 6%
National average £15,640 £15,568 -0.4%

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.



At first glance, I thought the percentage column was for pupillages. I then realised the figures were too high. 6% at Northumbria? More like 1%.

Reply Report comment
Northumbria BPTC grad with pupillage

Don’t blame institutions for your lack of charisma and ability in interviews. Chambers outside of London really don’t care where you did the course.

Reply Report comment

OP was talking about where someone did the BPTC, not their undergraduate degree.

Also interested to know who “we” are proudboobs?

2 Caveats to the link you provide:

Firstly, those stats don’t include students doing the Mlaw at Northumbria (the combined LLB+BPTC).

Additionally, you have to consider that at some providers (not only Northumbria) a significant proportion of students are overseas and not seeking pupillage in the UK. The statistics are still poor, but perhaps not as awful as you make out.

Reply Report comment

Tom, at some providers students have to pay the BSB registration fee (£550) on top of the course fee. It would help to see at which providers.

Reply Report comment
BPTC grad without pupillage but was lucky enough to get a scholarship

As someone said above, the BPTC is an awful lottery. It should be made more difficult to enrol.

Reply Report comment

Agreed, but people also need to take responsibility for themselves. Personally I think going for the BPTC without pupillage or at the very least multiple final round interviews shows poor commercial judgment. The essence of a barrister’s job is risk assessment.

Reply Report comment

Money, money, money. And here’s me thinking that the bar is based on merit. The bar is sham. Only for rich kids. Long may this soon to be dead legal profession squeeze the pennies at the fools who buy into this bulshit . Shit need to changes.

Reply Report comment

Nonsense. There is a fortune in scholarship funding available. You obviously haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about and have a chip on your shoulder.

Reply Report comment

I wouldn’t go anywhere near the BPTC if I didn’t have a scholarship/pupillage. Preferably both. You look at the profiles of most pupils/juniors at decent (not even top) sets; they all have at least one scholarship from an inn.

Reply Report comment

19K?! For what? This is just supply and demand driven market value, right? Or is every lecturer/seminar leader a Rhodes scholar fellating you thrice daily? I thought the current LPC market was atrocious enough. Especially with all the ULaw nonsense last year like changing assessments the day they’re due, and providing non-answerable exams. The law society/ bar has to step in now… things have gotten out of hand.

Reply Report comment

My impression is that it’s more fun than the LPC. So it’s got that going for it. But given that you can’t take your BPTC and turn it into an LPC with a one week course anymore, that’s no longer a reason to do it.

These days, it’s a horrible risk with the door to the most obvious “escape route” well and truly barred.

Reply Report comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.