Which BPTC provider boasts the highest pass rate?

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BSB data reveals success rates for civil and criminal litigation, as well as professional ethics

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has revealed where students on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) are mostly likely to pass their exams.

The results cover the three centralised exams in professional ethics, civil litigation and criminal litigation, which account for 25% of the course (30 out of 120 credits).

Around 1,800 people sat the three subjects in April 2019. A record number (75%) passed professional ethics, while the pass rate for civil litigation held fairly steady at 63%. There was a big drop in the pass rate for criminal litigation: just 61% passed, compared to 77% in 2018.

The 2019 Legal Cheek BPTC Most List

But there were big variations at the different BPTC providers. Pass rates in professional ethics ranged from between 98% to 57% depending on where people took the exam. Civil litigation pass rates varied from 87% to 43%, while criminal litigation was similar (90% to 40%).

The report singles out BPP Manchester for having “the highest performing cohort in all three subject areas” for the second year in a row. It doesn’t give an average pass rate for every provider, but does show the ranking.

Without further ado, here it is:

BPTC providers, ranked by pass rate in centralised exams

Rank Uni
1 BPP Manchester
2 BPP Leeds
3 ULaw London
4 City
5 Cardiff
6 BPP London
8 ULaw Birmingham
9 ULaw Leeds
10 MMU
11 BPP Bristol
12 BPP Birmingham
13 NTU
14 Northumbria



Quite frankly they’re all as bad as each other – and completely overpriced (even with the upcoming costs reductions)



Overpriced? How poor are you?


A Barrister

I don’t think you have to be poor to think the BPTC is overpriced. It costs more than every LLM in the UK, and twice as much as a year on any undergrad course. The teaching is generally agreed to be a bit shit. And as opposed to an academic degree, it doesn’t serve any purpose at all if you don’t secure pupillage.


Penis Pump

Pretty sure that the BCL costs more for domestic (UK/EU) students

(inb4 ”hurr durr I said LLM and even though the BCL is a Master in Law I’m gonna arbitrarily exclude it from the scope of my argument”)


A Barrister

You’re right. It didn’t a few years ago and I wasn’t aware it had been increased. £23k now.


If you are worried about passing move onto to another profession choice. These silly exams are a doddle.



I’ve seen harder tests on the back of cereal boxes than the BPTC.



Thank goodness it’s been abolished. What a waste of resources..



Maybe BPP Manchester does well because half the cohort are allowed to defer exams due to ‘stress’



Are the procedure exams still piss easy multiple choice affairs you can prep for in a day, or at a push, two days?


Crap junior hack

BPTC was the best year I ever spent. Shit teaching, half the cohort had a tenuous grasp of English, checked-out tutors, a handful of great chums and piss-easy assessments. For a formerly studious country boy it was like being on a nine month stag do in London.

I might have felt hard done by if Middle Temple hadn’t paid the fees, mind you.



These pass rates are terrifyingly low. Why are so many thick people sitting the exam? When I did these exams I think I answered everything correctly in criminal, had one wrong answer in civil and I did bugger all work. Procedure is a piece of cake. I remember laughing at the results because I didn’t care.



But you probably went to a top 5 or top 2 uni. Once one is outside the top 10 there really is a drop in quality. These exams, incredibly easy thought they are, are there to teach that lot some home truths.



It isn’t really a question of “thick”. If you are able to memorise things well, the procedural papers on the BPTC are easy. If you cannot, they aren’t. This is not the same as intelligence and I doubt anyone seriously considers that they are…



These pass rates are somewhat instructive, but should be read in light of the fact that roughly 60% of all those who are Called the Bar never obtain pupillage.


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