REVEALED: The BPTC providers with the highest chance of pupillage

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By Alex Aldridge on

Northumbria is the worst; BPP London is the best — but overall rate is poor


The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has released new Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) statistics revealing where students should go to ensure the best chance of securing pupillage.

According to the stats, BPP Law School’s London branch was the winner — with 27% of its 2011, 2012 and 2013 BPTC students having started pupillage. ULaw’s London branch and City Law School came second equal; 21% of their graduates are already in chambers.


At the other end of the spectrum, Northumbria came last: a mere 3% of its students — or seven out of 225 — from 2011-13 have bagged a pupillage. Incredibly, not a single member of Northumbria’s 2013 BPTC class, which contained 48 students, has started pupillage yet (however, Northumbria says that six of those students have pupillage but didn’t start it until after the BSB completed its survey).

Meanwhile, Cardiff Law School is second bottom of the table, with just 6% of its BPTC graduates over those three years having made it into practice.

Overall, there is a pattern for the BPTC providers outside London — which charge lower fees — to offer less chance of securing a pupillage than the more expensive £18,000-a-year providers in the capital.

The BSB’s study also revealed that one quarter of all BPTC students had a 2:2 at undergraduate level. Northumbria was particularly welcoming of these students, with over half its intake between 2011 and 2013 having a 2:2.