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The Bar Knowledge Course is the first step in Northumbria’s alternative barrister training route. The Bar is a demanding profession, and our Bar Knowledge Course and Bar Skills Course give you the flexibility to break your learning down into two separate stages, while still receiving the very best possible legal training.

The Bar Knowledge Course focuses on giving you the opportunity to acquire all of the knowledge you need to prepare you for the rigours of the Bar.

Taught largely through realistic case studies, or briefs, you will study the two centralised assessment modules, Civil Litigation and Criminal Litigation.

You will benefit from the highest quality of practice-informed teaching, taught by staff who are professionally qualified as either barristers or solicitors with strong staff-student contact and tailored feedback.

You will also 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.

The programme makes the best use of facilities such as Northumbria’s extensive IT provision and dedicated legal practice library. Close links with the Bar and judiciary enhances networking opportunities and employment prospects.

Successful completion (40 credits) will mean you are eligible to move on to the Bar Skills Course, which aims to help you build on the knowledge you've acquired and develop the skills necessary for you to practice as a barrister.

Successfully completing both stages (120 credits) is equivalent to completion of the Bar Course and leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Vocational Training and means you will ultimately possess the attributes set out in the Professional Statement for Barristers and be eligible for Call to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to meeting the qualifying requirements of your Inn of Court).

The Bar Knowledge Course and the Bar Skills Course ultimately prepare you for pupillage and training as a barrister, but also a highly successful career not only at the Bar, but across the legal profession, business and politics.

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

Find out more information about applying for our Bar Courses.

Please note: The Bar Knowledge and Skills Courses, when both are taken, replace the Bar Professional Training Course, and provide an alternative 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 part-time

Department
Northumbria Law School

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

 

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Entry Requirements 2024/25

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) – or to be on course to achieve this. Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree or a Pass in the GDL will be considered exceptionally on an individual basis, and with appropriate evidence.

Please note academic qualifications must satisfy the requirements outlined by the Bar Standards Board. Applicants that hold, or are completing a non-UK/ROI degree or conversion course, must apply to the Bar Standards Boards for a Certificate of Academic Standing and be studying or have studied a Conversion Course such as the GDL. Further information can be found on the Bar Standards Board Website.

All applicants are required to join one of the four Inns of Court before commencing the course. 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

Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT):

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has decided to discontinue the BCAT as an entry requirement for the vocational component of Bar Training with effect from 31 July 2022. Please see this statement on the BSB website for more information: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/resources/bsb-to-abolish-the-bar-course-aptitude-test-from-31-july.html

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 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £3,075

Full EU Fee: £3,075

Full International Fee: £3,075



Scholarships and Discounts

Discover More about Fees, Scholarships and other Funding options for UK, EU and International applicants.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

The fees above include the Bar Standards Board fee (which was £705 in September 2023 - £470 for the Bar Knowledge Course and £235 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 Inn membership fee which was between £100 and £148 in 2023. 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.

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

LW7118 -

Criminal Litigation (20 Credits)

The Criminal Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Building on foundation knowledge from criminal law modules on your qualifying law degree, this module will familiarise you with current procedures relating to the following topics:

- Preliminaries to prosecution;
- Bail and remands;
- Pre-trial issues;
- Disclosure;
- Indictments;
- The roles of the Magistrates’, Crown and Appellate Courts;
- Youth Courts;
- Summary trial procedure;
- Preliminaries to trial in the Crown Court and jury trial procedure;
- Sentencing powers of the various courts;
- Appeal procedures.

On completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of criminal process as a whole, knowledge of how cases progress through the system and an understanding of, and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to criminal matters.

More information

LW7119 -

Civil Litigation (20 Credits)

The Civil Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Modern civil litigation requires knowledge of the detailed and technical Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and rules of civil evidence. However, it is equally important that the modern practitioner also possesses a thorough knowledge of the various methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and, crucially, the interplay between “conventional” litigation and ADR.

To meet these requirements, this module will provide you with thorough knowledge and understanding of those parts of the CPR, civil evidence and ADR which you are set out in the BSB’s syllabus document for this module. This is likely to include:

- The various forms of ADR (negotiation; mediation; arbitration; and conciliation) and how they operate;
- When, in the course of civil dispute, to use ADR and selecting the most appropriate method of ADR;
- The implications of ADR in relation to matters such as costs and enforcement;
- The importance of the Pre-Action Protocols;
- The Overriding Objective of the CPR;
- Interim applications (e.g. summary judgment; setting aside default judgment) and interim remedies ( e.g. injunctions; interim payments);
- The rules surrounding disclosure;
- Civil evidence (including witness evidence; hearsay and legal professional privilege);
- Costs;
- Appeals.

On completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding and knowledge of the progress of civil litigation and dispute resolution from initial considerations through to trial and on to appeals and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to civil matters.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

LW7118 -

Criminal Litigation (20 Credits)

The Criminal Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Building on foundation knowledge from criminal law modules on your qualifying law degree, this module will familiarise you with current procedures relating to the following topics:

- Preliminaries to prosecution;
- Bail and remands;
- Pre-trial issues;
- Disclosure;
- Indictments;
- The roles of the Magistrates’, Crown and Appellate Courts;
- Youth Courts;
- Summary trial procedure;
- Preliminaries to trial in the Crown Court and jury trial procedure;
- Sentencing powers of the various courts;
- Appeal procedures.

On completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of criminal process as a whole, knowledge of how cases progress through the system and an understanding of, and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to criminal matters.

More information

LW7119 -

Civil Litigation (20 Credits)

The Civil Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Modern civil litigation requires knowledge of the detailed and technical Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and rules of civil evidence. However, it is equally important that the modern practitioner also possesses a thorough knowledge of the various methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and, crucially, the interplay between “conventional” litigation and ADR.

To meet these requirements, this module will provide you with thorough knowledge and understanding of those parts of the CPR, civil evidence and ADR which you are set out in the BSB’s syllabus document for this module. This is likely to include:

- The various forms of ADR (negotiation; mediation; arbitration; and conciliation) and how they operate;
- When, in the course of civil dispute, to use ADR and selecting the most appropriate method of ADR;
- The implications of ADR in relation to matters such as costs and enforcement;
- The importance of the Pre-Action Protocols;
- The Overriding Objective of the CPR;
- Interim applications (e.g. summary judgment; setting aside default judgment) and interim remedies ( e.g. injunctions; interim payments);
- The rules surrounding disclosure;
- Civil evidence (including witness evidence; hearsay and legal professional privilege);
- Costs;
- Appeals.

On completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding and knowledge of the progress of civil litigation and dispute resolution from initial considerations through to trial and on to appeals and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to civil matters.

More information

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
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Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints


If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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