It can be difficult to choose a BPTC provider out of the large number of excellent providers available I consider the main factors that may influence such a decision.
Location! Location! Location !
Location is a crucial factor to bear in mind when you are considering where to apply for your Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). You may wish to commute from home, or you may choose to study in the area where you hope to practice once you have qualified as a barrister, particularly as law schools are likely to have good links with the Bar in their area. It is also worth bearing in mind that living costs will vary around the country. For example studying in London may increase employability with London chambers and is convenient for the Inns of Court and the Royal Courts of Justice along with the Central Criminal Court. Whilst providers in the regions often have good connections with the local bar for example Cardiff Law School has connections with the local circuit.
Consider the reputation of your BPTC provider
If you have any contacts who can give you some insights into the quality of training at different institutions, do bear their views in mind. You could also look into whether any well-known barristers have graduated from the law school you are considering.
Consider the group size and student to tutor ratio
Group size will affect how much individual attention you receive. For example the group size at City University is 12 people while advocacy is taught in groups of 6 enabling constant feedback from tutors.
How is the course structured?
Consider the structure of the course and compare between different providers, how many teaching hours would you have per week? What options are available? Extra-curricular activities including Pro Bono activities.
Money! Money! Money!
Consider the course fees and any scholarships the providers may be able to offer for example City University offers six scholarships worth £3000 to students undertaking the BPTC and two worth £5000 for female students as part of the Rosie Keene Memorial Scholarship.
I hope the above has proved useful, whatever choice you make you will be in for an amazing time on the course combined with hard work, the meeting of new friends and forging greater bonds with old ones, take the time to do the research on the providers, consider the above and personal preferences and hopefully you will come to a decision.
Good Luck and please do not hesitate to contact the MTSA representative for the provider if you require any further information.