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

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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%

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the bptc is the world’s worst lottery ticket



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%.


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.



We do care where you did your undergraduate degree and your grade. More than half of Northumbria BPTC graduates have a Desmond, and my guess is that’s mostly from ex public lavatories with university status.

Stats here:



Who is “we”?



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.


Yo Mama

A Desmond – ha! 🙂


Cardiff Alum

Wonder if the increase at Cardiff will now mean the White Book will be provided…. 🤔



They provided the White book last year.



Wow! £72 savings?! TIME TO SIGN UP FOR THE BPTC!



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



BVC has gone up at least £4k at UWE in the past 10 years.



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.



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.


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