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In a demanding and rapidly changing legal landscape, the highest quality training is required to succeed as a barrister. Northumbria University’s Bar Course LLM will support you in acquiring the necessary knowledge and practical skills crucial to practice at the modern Bar.

Northumbria’s approach to Bar training replicates professional practice more closely than ever.

You will study:

  • Civil Litigation (incorporating evidence and Alternative Dispute Resolution)
  • Criminal Litigation (incorporating evidence and sentencing)
  • Advocacy
  • Conferencing
  • Drafting
  • Opinion Writing
  • Legal Research
  • Professional Ethics

The Bar Course LLM will apply your knowledge and skills to practice in a broad range of briefs focused upon the foundational areas of pupillage and early practice - family, civil and criminal law. You will develop your skills in Advocacy, Conferencing, Drafting and Opinion Writing within the simulated context of these briefs, and this invaluable, practical experience will equip you to be immediately effective in pupillage.

A Masters in Law offers you the opportunity to enhance your profile and experience by gaining an internationally recognised LLM qualification in addition to your Bar Course. At Northumbria we offer Bar students two possible routes to the LLM Project qualification: a traditional dissertation focusing on the in-depth critical examination of a substantive area of law of your choosing of between 10,000 – 15,000 words; or a combination of clinical experience gained in the Student Law Office, together with and extended piece of written work of between 8,000 and 10,000 words (SLO Bar Project).

Through your LLM Project you will develop professional skills necessary for practice, expanding on your legal knowledge, your legal application and your ability to critically analyse and reflect on law, practice and policy. In an increasingly competitive market, this offers you an additional pathway to differentiate your qualification and to enhance your future employability.

Northumbria’s Bar Course LLM is led by a team of highly experienced barristers, and supported by our well-established network of guest speakers including members of the Bar, Judges, and other relevant professionals, including forensic scientists.

You will benefit from generous contact hours throughout the course – including dedicated exam-focused teaching sessions – in which the teaching team will share their expertise to support you in preparing for the Bar Standards Board (BSB) centralised assessments.

You may also gain, at no further cost and additional qualification in mediation.

Northumbria delivers many opportunities to develop distinctive knowledge and skills through:

  • Vulnerable witness training
  • Practitioner advocacy masterclasses
  • Advocacy training involving non-civilian witnesses and expert witnesses, for example Crime Scene Investigators, Police Officers and Social Workers (please note, the range of witnesses may change year on year).
  • Teaching in respect of forensic science and forensic statistics
  • Participation in international mooting competitions
  • A mentoring scheme in conjunction with the Bar

Together these opportunities will allow you to distinguish yourself in a competitive environment and ultimately thrive in this prestigious profession.

Our flexible suite of Bar Courses offers you the opportunity to learn in the way that suits you best, with part-time, PGDip and separate Bar Knowledge and Bar Skills options available.

Please note: The Bar Course LLM replaces the Bar Professional Training LLM, as the BSB-regulated vocational stage of training for those who wish to become a barrister in England and Wales.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department
Northumbria Law School

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2020

Fee Information

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Your Bar Course LLM at Northumbria will be immersive, practice-focused and extremely supportive. By studying in a way that simulates professional practice, you will prepare yourself for a seamless transition from classroom to courtroom.

We will deliver the knowledge modules over both semesters, through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. We believe that face-to-face teaching is essential to allow you to discuss and debate the material with our academics, and learn from their extensive experience of the law.

Integrated with the knowledge modules, you will develop your skills through  practice streams focusing on the foundational areas of practice in pupillage and the junior Bar. You will practise Advocacy, Conferencing, Drafting and Opinion Writing in realistic scenarios with the ability to access briefs entirely electronically – as in many areas of modern practice.

Underpinning all of this is a strong emphasis on Professional Ethics, which will equip you with the knowledge required for the Professional Ethics assessment on the Bar Course and provide the foundation for the further assessment you will undertake during pupillage.

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

At Northumbria you can expect exceptionally high standards of teaching from a practice-oriented teaching team, many of whom remain in practice at the Bar or sit as Judges.

We are enthusiastically supported by the broader Bar and Judiciary, who often deliver in-course and extra-curricular teaching as part of the Practitioner Programme – with a strong emphasis on the development of your Advocacy skills. The quality of our teaching at Northumbria has been recognised through a variety of awards and nominations. These include Law Teacher of the Year Award, the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Award and the Northern Law Awards.

The expertise of staff extends beyond professional practice. As academics, the tutors at Northumbria Law School have expertise in a range of areas, with some members recognised as national or international leaders in their field. We host the Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies, and our research groups include Gender, Sexuality and Law; the Northumbria Information Rights Research Group; and the International Law Research Interest Group. 

“I think it’s very helpful to have someone teaching you how to do advocacy, for example, when they’ve spent the three days prior to your class in a trial situation.”

David McCormick, Northumbria alumni and Barrister

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Northumbria Law School provides first-class teaching in a world-class environment. You will be based in our award-winning City Campus East building, which houses our mock courtroom and Student Law Office as well as an array of lecture theatres, classrooms and a dedicated postgraduate study area.

It is also home to our specialist Law Practice Library, which contains practitioner materials as well as a wide variety of journals, databases, and law reports. The range and depth of resources reflects our position as the largest law school in the North East region.

The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK, and holds Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is an integral part of this course. You receive extensive support through our e-learning platform, Blackboard, where you can access a wide range of resources. These include online discussion forums, collaborative online learning, self-test materials and assessment tasks. We use Panopto software to record teaching, feedback and practical exercises in Conferencing and Advocacy. This is a valuable aid in the process of self-reflection, critical thinking and continual improvement.

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

You will experience research-rich learning in both the knowledge and skills elements of the Bar Course LLM, through enquiry-based tasks, case analysis and engagement with legal research.

The pervasive research culture of Northumbria Law School will facilitate your development of excellent research skills and a strong conceptual understanding of specialist areas of law.

The Law School’s research is focused on three areas: Law and Society; Legal Education and Professional Skills; and the Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies. Your tutors will discuss their own and wider research as it relates to the course, enhancing your learning experience and encouraging critical thinking.

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

On successful completion of the Bar Course LLM you will be fully prepared for the demands of practice, and will be eligible for call to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to meeting the requirements of your Inn of Court).

At Northumbria, we aim to ensure that you are prepared in every way for pupillage selection and life as a barrister. The course will build on your existing legal knowledge and equip you with the knowledge, skills and attributes set out in the Professional Statement for Barristers and necessary for practice as an effective and successful legal professional.

The addition of a Masters in Law further offers you the opportunity to enhance your profile and experience by gaining an internationally recognised LLM qualification in addition to your Bar Course.

Northumbria Law School is internationally-recognised as delivering excellence in training for the Bar, and we are an integral part of the local legal community. Local firms and practitioners often sponsor prizes celebrating student success on the programme – evidence of the high esteem in which our graduates are held and a remarkable opportunity for you to gain recognition.

Previous graduates have gone on to positions as barristers in Newcastle and all over England and Wales, as well as in Commonwealth jurisdictions across the globe.

Alumni Interviews

Watch four of our Northumbria Law alumni talk about their experiences, and their flourishing careers as barristers at Trinity Chambers and Dere Street here in Newcastle.

Book an Open Day / Experience the Bar Course LLM

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study the Bar Course LLM at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2020/21

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in Law or a minimum of a Commendation in the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree or a Pass in the GDL will be considered exceptionally on an individual basis.

All applicants are required to join one of the four Inns of Court before commencing the course, and applicants must pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) introduced by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard as specified by the BSB within the past five years. For more information please visit www.barstandardsboard.org.uk.

English language requirements:

Please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/barapplications.  

For further information and how to apply, please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/barapplications
Please review this information before submitting your application.

 

Fees and Funding 2020/21 Entry

Full UK Fee: £12,000

Full EU Fee: £12,000

Full International Fee: £12,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

The fees above include the Bar Standards Board fee (which will be £870 in September 2020 - £575 for the Bar Knowledge Course and £295 for the Bar Skills Course where students elect to take one of these programmes as opposed to the full Bar Course - and which is subject to change each year thereafter at the discretion of the BSB): Upon joining the course, you will be provided with the core textbooks that you require for your studies (you may purchase additional texts if you wish, but they will not be ‘recommended reading’ and you may find that the University library has copies of any additional texts that you may wish to browse/refer to). Additional costs include: the Bar Course Aptitude test (BCAT) (prescribed by the BSB) at £150.00 within the EU and £170 outside the EU (again, the cost of this is subject to change) ( N.B. if you need to re-sit the BCAT, each attempt costs £150.00 within the EU and £170 outside the EU and is subject to change): and the Inn membership fee which was between £100.00 and £110.00 in 2019. All of these additional costs are mandatory and subject to pricing by independent bodies (and so the prices given above may possibly change from year to year). Students must also attend 10 ‘qualifying sessions’, run by the Inns of Court. These may include dinners, lectures, advocacy training or residential weekends. One such session is included in your fees - the Northumbria Bar Dinner. The remaining 9 sessions are funded by the student and the cost varies depending on what you choose to attend and its location. Costs will typically include travel, event costs, accommodation and meals if necessary.

Scholarships and discounts

Click here for Home/EU scholarships and discounts information

Click here for International scholarships and discounts information

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Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

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Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

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Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
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