The University of Law (ULaw) is launching its Bar Practice Course (BPC) in Newcastle, directly challenging Northumbria University, the city’s only current provider of training for barristers.

ULaw has partnered with Newcastle University to deliver the nine-month course from September 2022. The pair previously joined forces to launch ULaw’s Newcastle campus in September 2021.

The BPC is ULaw’s replacement for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which was retired for good in autumn 2020 to be replaced by a number of different bar courses. The BPTC was previously called the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) before being renamed in 2010.

The fees for the first running of the course will be £12,500 for the BPC and £12,550 for the BPC with an LLM attached, though ULaw has described these as introductory discounted fees. Northumbria University School of Law’s direct equivalent, its Bar Course Postgraduate Diploma, currently costs £12,300.

Head of Newcastle Law School Dr Jonathan Galloway said: “This expands on an already very successful partnership between our respective universities for the benefit of our current and future students, as well as other aspiring barristers in the North East and those that want to study here. I know that this new course will be a success and more importantly I know it will provide an excellent educational experience for our next generation of barristers.”

ULaw has been pushing hard in Newcastle since opening its campus there, recently signing a deal with local firm Muckle to provide SQE preparation to its future trainee solicitors. That deal will begin in autumn 2023.