CoL launches part-time BPTC in Brum

The College of Law’s (CoL) Birmingham branch is to expand its Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) by launching a new part-time option.

The part-time course will be rolled out in September 2011, with the course fees set at £5,870 per year for the two year programme and is preliminarily validated for 36 students.

BPTC course leader at CoL in Birmingham, Paul Shoulders, said: “The new part-time course opens up the potential rewards of a career at the bar to people who need to work to support their studies or who have other commitments on their time,”

“The course is designed not only to help students achieve pupillage with a barristers’ chamber but also to prepare them for working life at the bar.”

The launch was pushed following requests from students who wanted to study the BPTC part-time while living at home. The option was made viable following an extension to the Birmingham branch facilities last year to accommodate increased numbers.

The news arrives despite growing concerns on the oversupply of students, which resurfaced following the Inner Temple conference on the Future of Legal Education (18 February), where Baroness Deech revealed that around 1686 students enrolled on the BPTC in 2010, while only 478 pupilages were available.

Former chair of the Bar Council Dr Nicholas Green QC said in his speech: “The very substantial oversupply of talented, enthusiastic, young people being denied entry to the professions raises issues which are both moral and economic which we should not (cannot) ignore.”

“Lawyers are good. But you can always have too much of a good thing,” he added.

The part-time course is subject to validation by the Bar Standards Board.