Cardiff University (BPTC)

The Legal Cheek View

The Cardiff Law School (CLS) has delivered the BPTC since its launch in 1997. Its good reputation is linked to the fact that it’s attached to a Russell Group university and has a high tutor-to-student ratio.

BPTCers report a “friendly support network inclusive of both tutors and students throughout the year”. Lecturers provide “good notes” and individual feedback regularly, steering students in the right direction. It’s “good to have different lecturers to provide feedback” too, “as all of them have different opinions”. The only downside is that this “can be a bit confusing because all of them have different styles” and there’s no one way to practice advocacy.

A distinctive perk of doing the BPTC at CLS is that students are guaranteed a two-week work placement. Placements include mini-pupillages with a local chambers or marshalling with a local circuit judge. This is a fantastic opportunity for BPTCers to meet members of the local bar, and to start forging contacts. Students get to “observe what they learn being put into practice”, explains one BPTCer. Another reports: “I was persuaded [to come here] by the close links to the local Bar, as it was my desire to obtain pupillage with local chambers”.

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BPTCers can further build on their legal experience through the ‘Law in Action’ pro bono schemes on offer at the law school. These include dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice via the ‘Innocence Project’, as well as challenges to NHS healthcare funding assessments. A more unusual option is the ‘Rugby Union Project’, which provides legal advice to rugby clubs. In addition, there are active mooting competitions, as well as heated legal discussion groups where you can showcase your barrister voice. A recent graduate tell us “it’s peng”.

Last but not least, Cardiff is a good value student city to live in. It’s home to Spillers Records – the oldest record shop in the world, which is worth sifting through to find some real gems. There’s plenty of independent shops, pubs, and small cafes on corners that really give the Welsh capital its character.

Key Info

Full time fees £15,200
Entry requirements 2:2
Full time places 84
Part time places n/a
Contact time 14 hrs/wk

In addition to course fees, a registration charge of £550 is payable to the Bar Standards Board to commence the BPTC. Entry onto the BPTC is subject to candidates passing the Bar Aptitude Test.