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LLM Bar Practice

Why choose Herts?

  • Professional accreditation: A internationally recognised master’s degree incorporating the vocational requirements for qualification as a Barrister of England and Wales
  • Work-related learning: Real-life scenarios inform your teaching, and you will gain client facing casework experience working in legal services within our award-winning pro-bono Law Clinic providing community-based legal services such as employment tribunals, FRU and Citizen Advice.
  • Advocacy: 40 hours of face-to-face advocacy training by experts including Judges, Barristers and Solicitors.  You will have the opportunity to work on authentic, real-life scenarios and practice your skills in our full-scale replica Crown Court.

Funding available*

Professional Accreditations

The course meets the requirements of the Bar Standards Board for the Vocational element of Bar Training and is the established pathway into a career as a barrister.

About the course

The LLM Bar Practice programme combines the vocational elements of training for a Barrister (previously the BPTC) within an internationally recognised master’s level qualification. Its innovative design focuses on developing you to manage both a face to face and digital practice.

The course is experiential with a focus on developing excellent personal and legal skills which are relevant for professional practice as a barrister or in any other professional career. As digital practice has become more prevalent across the professions, the programme incorporates this into delivery and provides you with a laptop with access to key resources as part of your tuition fees.

Programme delivery

You will learn by doing and, in several ways. Significant contact time of 10-16 hours a week, supported by small class sizes means you get to practice your skills weekly. The programme is delivered via in-person and online workshops which enables you to work in a variety of ways. The programme will prepare you for a digital practice as courts and legal professionals move increasingly online and paperless. You will be taught in small class sizes of 1:6 and 1:12, by qualified legal professionals and academics who have experience in teaching and legal practice

Advocacy is taught in our multi-million-pound replica Crown Courtroom, and conference skills are taught in groups of 6 students. You will follow several case studies which enable you to take your client from instruction through to completion of their case using your knowledge and developing those essential skills. Your practice is recorded and stored in the cloud, giving you the opportunity to watch and reflect on your practice anytime. Your contact time is supported by rich digital resources enabling you to learn, practice and reflect in a variety of ways. Using online practitioner texts gives you maximum flexibility over how you use your resources including annotation, bookmarking and printing.


Assessments are varied and designed, wherever possible, to mirror tasks that you would undertake in pupillage and then your own practice. The programme has a variety of assessments including oral, coursework, portfolio and examinations. There are 12 assessments in total including the three BSB centralised assessments in criminal and civil litigation. You will have weekly practice on the MCQs, and SBAs needed for the centralised assessments and there are additional practice assessments in every module.

Programme outcomes

At the end of the programme, you will leave us with a valuable master’s qualification, the knowledge and skills required by the legal profession and other potential employers and, with the opportunity to be called to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to you completing your dining obligations and any additional requirements set by the BSB).

If you want to work in the legal profession, the full-time one-year LLM Bar Practice offered by the University of Hertfordshire is the course for you. Our course not only will offer an established route into the legal profession but also enables you to obtain a valuable and internationally recognised masters.

Why choose this course?

The LLM Bar Practice offers you the opportunity to enhance your profile and gain an internationally recognised qualification.

  • Enhancing employability: Throughout the programme, you’ll develop professional connections through our extensive employability programme and participate in a range of co-curricular courses. 
  • Professional accreditation: A internationally recognised master’s degree incorporating the vocational requirements for qualification as a Barrister of England and Wales
  • Work-related learning: Our award-winning Law Clinic covers a number of practice areas and pro bono opportunities which will enable you to put the skills you learn on the programme into practice in the community. The LLM component involves a compulsory Legal Research project based in the Law Clinic which provides you with practical, real-world, client-based experience.
  • Advocacy: 40 hours of face-to-face advocacy training by experts including Judges, Barristers and Solicitors.  You will have the opportunity to work on authentic, real-life scenarios and practice your skills in our full-scale replica Crown Court.
  • CV-enhancing activities: An extensive array of co-curricular activities including trial advocacy led by a former member of the judiciary, client interviewing, conferencing, debating, commercial awareness and mooting.
  • Strong industry links: Hertfordshire Law School has close links with the Law Clinic and Careers Service providing you with the skills and support you need to make the most of your time on the programme and succeed in your chosen career.
  • Fantastic facilities: We are one of the few providers of legal education in the country with a full-scale multi-million-pound replica Crown Courtroom which is fully equipped with the latest technology to enable you to perform your Advocacy skills and prepare you for practice.
  • Teaching excellence: You’ll be taught by experienced practitioners in the legal field including Barristers, Solicitors and former Judges as well as academics, all of whom understand the context of the modules in practice.
  • Exceptional student learning experience: 85% overall satisfaction score in Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey ranking 1st overall.
  • Award-winning: Voted Best Contribution by a Team of Students helping vulnerable people at risk of homelessness in Hertfordshire (Law Works Student Pro Bono Awards, 2022), and ranked 4th overall for law in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES, Advance HE, 2023).

What will I study?

This one-year intensive full-time course consists of on-campus teaching and you will be required to complete guided study on your non-teaching days. Assessments may fall on any day of the week. In your third semester, depending on your elective choices, you may also be required to attend classes for on-campus teaching on a few days during the week.

Semester one

In the first semester, you will study the knowledge modules of Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution and Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing alongside Professional Ethics.   These modules contextualise and develop your knowledge together with practising core skills, and you can expect to find ethical questions appearing across all modules.  In this semester, you will also formally study your first core skill, Conferencing.  MCQ questions and exam techniques are integrated throughout your modules, so you get plenty of practice before any centralised BSB assessments.

Semester two

In your second semester, with the core knowledge under your belt, you turn your attention to developing your skills with the compulsory modules of Advocacy; Opinion Writing; Legal Research and Drafting. All are taught within the context of real-life briefs.

Semester three

Finally, in the third semester, you will complete the compulsory extended project within our law clinic or pro bono centre.   This gives you an excellent opportunity to practice and further develop your professional skills, enhance your legal research, and develop your critical reflection and analysis skills. You also have the opportunity to develop your practice in other areas such as chancery, advanced litigation, employment and family law.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Civil Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution 15 Credits Compulsory
    Criminal Litigation, Evidence & Sentencing 15 Credits Compulsory
    Professional Ethics 15 Credits Compulsory
    Conference 15 Credits Compulsory
    Drafting 15 Credits Compulsory
    Opinion Writing 15 Credits Compulsory
    Legal Research 0 Credits Compulsory
    Bar Practice Legal Project 30 Credits Compulsory
    Advocacy 30 Credits Compulsory
    Advanced Criminal Litigation 15 Credits Optional
    Advanced Civil Litigation 15 Credits Optional
    Family Law 15 Credits Optional
    Employment Law 15 Credits Optional
    Company & Commercial Law 15 Credits Optional
    Chancery 15 Credits Optional
  • Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    LLM Bar Practice Download
    Programme specifications
    LLM Bar Practice Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying, building your career and having fun.

    If you need support, we are here for you. Hertfordshire Law School is a warm, welcoming community where you will find staff who encourage you through your studies. You will have your own academic support tutor for the duration of your time here. Plus, our friendly cohort leaders are available to speak to. If you need some personal support we have a wellbeing leader and many members of teaching staff are trained and accredited in mental health first aid.

    For additional help with study skills you will have access to our academic support services. You can attend workshops, 1:1 sessions and online tutorials. Both our Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) run drop-in study skills sessions.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.