The University of Law has dramatically reduced the price of its bar training course to make it ‘more accessible and affordable’ – after the Inns of Court pledged to deliver a cheaper course for aspiring barristers earlier this year.
Current students pay over £18,000 to study the bar professional training course full-time in London, the Gazette understands. However, from 2020 the price will drop by almost a third to £13,000 in London and £11,750 outside of London. This will include textbooks.
The course – renamed the bar practice course – has been altered to make it more flexible. Online study will cater to students’ other commitments, the university said, and students can begin the course in either September or July.
From 2020, aspiring barristers can complete the course in three new sites – Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester – as well as in London, Birmingham and Leeds. The course has been submitted to the Bar Standards Board for approval.
The university claims that 58% of their students secure pupillages within one year of completing the course.
Jacqueline Cheltenham, BPC national programme and student affairs director, said: ‘The new bar practice course combines exciting new aspects whilst retaining the best of what went before, to provide a more flexible and accessible approach to qualifying as a barrister.
‘Students will study in a supportive environment, with options tailored to suit their needs and fit around their life where needed.’
Earlier this year, the Inns of Court announced it had applied to deliver a new ‘lower cost’ course for barristers, costing around £13,000.
The Inns — Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, Gray’s Inn and Inner Temple — were the traditional sole training providers before competitors entered the market. The Inns eventually stopped providing the course in 2001.
City Law School has also reduced its fees, from £18,500 to £14,000.
The University of Law is yet to reveal how much it will charge students for preparation for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, which is due to be introduced in September 2021.