New figures show success rates for student barristers

A new report by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has highlighted information on student performance on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

The new analysis - which has been updated to include students who completed the BPTC in 2015 - shows that becoming a barrister remains very competitive. 

Key findings include:

  • 11% of all BPTC graduates in the same period achieved the highest grade, "Outstanding".
  • 4,760 students started the BPTC between 2012 and 2014. 72%  have passed the course to date.
  • 35%  of all UK/EU domiciled graduates enrolled on the BPTC in the academic years commencing in 2011-2013 have gained pupillage since completing the BPTC. Following graduation, some students do not intend to gain pupillage.

Interestingly, the research also found that the number of women securing pupillage is now similar to that of men although more women are taking the BPTC than men. Forty-seven per cent of pupillages were awarded to women over the period of this report.

Overall, the statistics suggest that while having a high-quality first degree (First Class or Upper Second) from a well-regarded university is a strong indicator of future prospects for pupillage, obtaining an "Outstanding" or "Very Competent" grade on the BPTC is an even stronger indicator than degree classification for success in securing pupillage. 

This information provides an opportunity to help students considering the BPTC to make informed decisions.

Speaking generally about the new BPTC key statistics, BSB Director of Education and Training, Dr Simon Thornton-Wood, said: "We are very aware that training to become a barrister can be expensive. We hope that the publication of today's statistics will help students considering a career at the Bar to make a fully informed decision about their chances of success."

Read more from the report here.

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