New Route to Becoming Barrister in England and Wales

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is considering significant changes to the requirements for students pursuing bar vocational courses in the UK. The proposed changes aim to eliminate the current requirement for students to have obtained a lower second class degree before starting bar vocational training.

Under the new proposals, law schools would be allowed to admit students with lower degrees or those without a degree at all. The decision on whether an aspiring barrister is ready to start vocational training would be made by individual training providers, considering a holistic view of the student's training, experience, and academic record.

The proposed modifications are planned to take effect from September 2025, subject to approval from the Legal Services Board. The BSB acknowledges the risk of training providers being either too stringent or not stringent enough in their approach to admissions, and measures may be taken to ensure a balanced process.

The changes would not compromise the principle of maintaining high standards, as a threshold of competence would still need to be met. The move is driven by a desire to simplify and modernise the approach to academic legal training and remove unnecessary barriers to entry into the legal profession.

Additionally, the proposed reforms suggest removing the existing time limits for completing a law degree within six years and commencing vocational training within five years of graduating. The aim is to create a more flexible system.

Potential benefits of the reforms include a positive impact on applicants from Black and Asian backgrounds, as research indicates that graduates more likely to achieve a lower degree classification are often from these backgrounds. The changes may also simplify the process for overseas graduates and remove barriers for women, carers, and individuals with long-term medical conditions who may currently need to apply for time limit exemptions.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.