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BPP University, Birmingham (Barrister Training Course)

The Legal Cheek View

Though not quite on the same scale, Birmingham is not dissimilar to London – large, busy and plenty to do. As one BPP student puts it: “Those of you familiar with the environment of Canary Wharf (in London) will be able to relate” to the atmosphere in the city centre, where BPP has its campus and has been running the BTC there since 2015. It is of course a few thousand pounds cheaper to do the BTC at the Birmingham campus than it is at BPP’s London Holborn centre.

The lecturers at BPP Birmingham are “knowledgeable and engaging”. They’re generally “laid back, focused and motivating people who clearly want us to reach our full potential,” reports one student. The smaller cohort could have something to do with it, as it allows for closer tutor support and a collegiate atmosphere. Tutors are experienced practitioners, typically drawn from the local bar, which is strong in the West Midlands and includes top sets such as No5 and St Philips Chambers: “We do not need to look far for advice on vocations and work experience, how to manage our workload or generally for someone who can relate to what we are going through,” says a Birmingham student. Indeed, tutors “know everyone by name”.

The downside of the smaller size of BPP’s Birmingham BTC is that there is sometimes not enough interest to put on certain electives. Though the choice is broad, not all BTC electives were available last year. The law school is flexible to the extent that they offer BTCers the opportunity to “go to an alternative BPP centre for their options if they wished”. But that’s not always practical.

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The “useful” careers service is said to be as good as in the capital. Recently, in one of its regular BTC monitoring visits, the Bar Standard Board noted meeting several students who said they “have obtained mini pupillages as a result of BPP’s organised events”. The careers team actively put on law fairs, panel and networking events, and workshops in association with local chambers. In future, the careers service plans to organise talks from former Brum BTCers who have bagged pupillage, presumably to talk tactics.

Note that BPP Birmingham BTCers are expected to do at least five hours of pro bono work in the year. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you start the intensive course your diary might say otherwise. Students say the pro bono opportunities at the Birmingham campus are “eye opening and enriching”.

But what’s work without play. There’s a possibility for a social life if you look out for it. The Birmingham campus does organise socials such as a fresher’s night out, go-karting, paint balling and a Christmas dinner.


Chancellor's Scholarship

Scholarship value Full-fee
Application info For students who demonstrate a unique and inspiring legal career journey - overcoming obstacles or providing outstanding contributions to charitable causes

Dean of the Law School Scholarship

Scholarship value Full-fee
Application info For students who demonstrate an outstanding standard of academic achievement and commitment to a legal career

BTC Excellence and Advocacy Scholarship

Scholarship value £1,000
Application info To be eligible, students must have a 1st class honours degree (including predicted) and/or demonstrate exceptional aptitude in their BTC video application

International Postgraduate Bursary

Scholarship value £1,000
Application info Available to international students with a 1st class honours degree

Career Commitment Scholarship

Scholarship value £2,000
Application info For the most promising future legal professionals

Future Leader Scholarship

Scholarship value Full-fee
Application info For students who demonstrate outstanding leadership skills or innovation ability, with the drive and ambition to become a future leader within the legal profession

Key Info

Full time fees £11,750
Entry requirements 2:2
Full time places 48
Part time places N/A
Contact time 12 hrs/wk

Entry onto the BTC is subject to candidates passing the Bar Aptitude Test.

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Posted by BPP on Monday, 22 July 2019