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BVC Bar Vocational Course

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Comments about BVC Bar Vocational Course - At the institution - Nottingham - Nottinghamshire

  • Objectives
    Nottingham Law School has established itself as one of the best providers of the BVC and the course has been assessed by the Bar Council as being of the highest standard. This Law School is one of only eight educational establishments validated by the Bar Council to deliver the Bar Vocational Course (BVC). We have gained an excellent reputation for the quality of our teaching; superior facilities, including a dedicated building; and high numbers of students securing pupillage. We have a pupillage rate of 47%, compared to a national average of 24%, and the School is known for having close links with the legal profession locally, nationally and overseas.

    The course was designed by tutors with experience of legal practice and is delivered with the input of judges, barristers and other practitioners. It’s an experiential learning course, students learn by doing and knowledge and skills are taught through case studies. Teaching sessions are in groups of 12 or six.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements
    The course is open to those holding qualifications approved by the Bar Council under the regulations in force; students should normally hold at least a 2.1 degree. This criterion will be considered in light of other relevant factors including commitment to the profession as evidenced on the application form; communication skills and aptitude for advocacy; commitment to undertaking a course of study at Nottingham Law School.

    All students are required to join an Inn of Court before enrolment.
  • Academic Title
    BVC Bar Vocational Course
  • Course description
    Students handle seven briefs (three Civil and four Criminal) which progress from commencement towards trial throughout the first two terms. Through handling these briefs, and responding to Instructions to Counsel, students acquire and apply knowledge and develop and practice skills.

    Options for the first term:

    -criminal litigation
    -civil litigation
    -opinion writing
    -conference skills
    -professional ethics
    -legal research.

    In the third term students undertake two options from:

    -family practice
    -advanced criminal practice
    -advanced civil practice
    -landlord and tenant
    -commercial practice

    Skills training amounts to about 60% of the BVC. You will learn by doing; we give you plenty of opportunities to practice, with lots of constructive feedback. All oral skills will be taught in groups of six.

    Students are assessed on a continuous basis in the following knowledge areas:

    -civil litigation and evidence
    -criminal litigation and evidence
    -professional ethics.

    Skills training covers:

    -opinion writing
    -conference skills
    -legal research
    -case preparation and analysis.

    Resources and facilities
    The Taylor Building, home to our BVC students, has been specially adapted for their use. In addition to teaching rooms in which seminars, small group sessions and guest presentations take place the Taylor Building has its own dedicated Refectory, BVC library and IT facilities. It helps to create a strong collegiate atmosphere.

    Study routes
    Full-time course running from September to June.

    Special benefits
    Our BVC is designed and delivered by practitioners and the School maintains the closest contacts with the profession and judiciary both locally, nationally and overseas to offer students a window into the profession as practised.

    Although NLS is validated to take 120 students for the BVC, we choose to enrol between 90 and 100 students: we like to keep the course small and high quality. We know all our students and we only take those with a fighting chance of pupillage.

    Students who complete our BVC having done the GDL, at Nottingham Law School or with another provider, have the opportunity to obtain a full LLB (known as a graduate LLB), reflecting the significant effort and achievement of the combination of a GDL and a BVC.

    The General Council of the Bar.

    Skills development
    We think languages might prove useful to you professionally. The University runs courses in a wide variety of major languages from beginners to advanced level. We encourage you to take part. There are fees but we subsidise them on your behalf.

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