Part A Bar Course / Examination

1. What is the Part A Bar Course and Examination?
Part A of the Singapore Bar Examinations is a conversion examination for overseas graduates who intend to apply for admission to the Singapore Bar. It replaces the previous Graduate Diploma in Singapore Law which was discontinued in 2009.

The preparatory Course for the Part A Examination will be conducted from August to November 2014 and the Examination in mid-November 2014. The Bar Course is optional, which means that individuals have the option to take the Examination without undergoing the Course.

Please note that acceptance into and completion of the Part A Bar Course and Examination do not, in themselves, qualify a person as an Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore.

2.

Who is eligible to take the Part A Course and Examination?
To be admitted to the Singapore Bar, individuals must fulfil all the requirements of being a “qualified person” as defined in the Legal Profession Act read with the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules. For most individuals, the “qualified person” requirements will include being a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, graduating from an approved university with an approved law degree read over at least 3 years as a full-time internal candidate, attaining at least Lower Second Class Honours or equivalent for that degree, passing Part A of the Bar Examinations and obtaining at least 6 continuous months of "relevant legal practice or work" and/or "relevant legal training" (as defined in the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules).

You will be eligible to take Part A if you meet all the academic “qualified person” requirements. You can still take Part A even if you do not meet the following “qualified person” requirements (although please note that you would need to satisfy these requirements or obtain the necessary exemption prior to taking Part B of the Bar Examinations, commencing the practice training period, and being admitted to the Bar):
 

» the requirement to be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident; and / or
» the requirement to have obtained at least 6 continuous months of “relevant legal practice or work” and / or “relevant legal training” as defined in the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules).

Please note that you do not need to take Part A if you are already a “qualified person”.

To check if you are or can become a “qualified person”, please use the online guide ‘Am I a Qualified Person?’ on the Ministry of Law’s website. This is a particularly important step for applicants with Juris Doctor degrees, dual degrees, joint/combined degrees, external or distance learning degrees, degrees of less than 3 years in length, and degrees obtained by way of a twinning programme, and degrees from universities that are not approved.

3. Can I appeal for an exemption if I am not eligible to take Part A?
If you are not eligible to take Part A (please see question 2 above), you can try appealing to the Minister for Law for an exemption. Details of the exemption procedure can be found on the Ministry of Law’s website.

As it can take 2-3 months for appeals to be processed by the Ministry of Law, you should submit your Part A application form to NUS before the application closing date while waiting for the decision from the Ministry of Law. Please note that NUS can make offers (including conditional offers) only AFTER the Ministry of Law has granted an applicant the exemption. Applicants will be required to submit a copy of the letter of exemption to NUS.
4. Can I apply to take Part A if I have not graduated yet?
Yes, you can submit an application to take Part A if you are graduating by July/August as you will be in time to start the course in early August. Please ensure that you submit your application to take Part A before the deadline on 2 May 2014. If you fulfil all the other relevant “qualified person” requirements (as outlined in question 2 above), we will give you a conditional offer subject to you obtaining the requisite standard for your degree. We will confirm the offer after we receive your final transcripts, degree certificate and an Official Rank Certification Document (if applicable) by end August 2014.
5. Where will the Course and Examination be offered?
The Course and Examination will be offered by the NUS Faculty of Law at its Bukit Timah Campus.
6. What is the duration and dates of the Course and Examination in 2014?
There is only one intake per calendar year. There will be 12 teaching weeks, 1 recess week, 1 reading week and 2 examination weeks from mid to 3rd week of November.


Course Calendar for Part A Bar Course / Exam 2014

Teaching Week 1 – 7

4 August to 19 September 2014

Recess Week

22 to 26 September 2014

Teaching Week 8-12

29 September to 31 October 2014

Reading Week

3 to 7 November 2014

Main Exam (alternate days for the 5 modules)

10 to 19 November 2014

Supplementary Exam

11 to 17 December 2014


Please refer to details at
https://law.nus.edu.sg/cle/partA_bar/Programme_Cal.pdf

7. Must I attend the Course, i.e. can I just take the Examination?
The Course is optional. Hence, individuals may apply to sit for the Examination without undergoing the Course.
8.

What are the relevant fees?
The 2014 fees are reflected in the table below. The “Examination Only” fee is standardized for all categories of students. Students are expected to make payment at the point of registration.

  Course & Examination Examination Only
Singapore Citizens
S$3,500

S$1,200

Singapore Permanent Residents S$3,800
International Students S$7,360
 
9. Would I be able to tap on my Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) to pay for my Part A Bar Course fees?
The Part A Bar Course is not a formal diploma/degree programme and PSEA funds cannot be used to pay for the fees.
10. What are the subjects and teaching hours?
There will be five compulsory subjects in total. These are: Criminal Law, Singapore Legal System & Constitutional Law, Land Law, Company Law, and Evidence Law. Students must take and pass all five subjects. There will be 3 hours of classes per subject per week. Classes will primarily be conducted in the day during regular working hours. The exact schedule of classes will be made available upon registration.
11. How do I apply, and when is the deadline?
The online application form is available at http://law.nus.edu.sg/cle/partA_bar/partA_bar_course.html The deadline for submission of applications is 2 May 2014. After submission, the printed form with required supporting documents should reach us no later than 12 May 2014.

No reminders will be sent if we do not receive your supporting documents and your online application will be deemed withdrawn.
12. What if I intend to take the Examination only? Do I use the same application form?
Yes, the same application form is to be used for those intending to take the Examination only. Please indicate your choice of “Course and Examination” or “Examination Only” on the application form and Application Acknowledgement letter. The same deadline for submission will apply. All supporting documents/transcripts must be submitted, even if you intend to take only the Examination.
13. If I register to take the Examination only, can I change my mind to enrol in the Course later?
No. We do need to plan for teaching spaces and arrangements, and we will only admit into the Course those who indicate explicitly that they wish to pursue the Course.
14. If I wish to take the Examination only, can I apply beyond the deadline?
No. We need to finalise the teaching and examination logistics, and we would appreciate your kind co-operation to decide by the relevant deadline.
15. If I wish to take the examination only, can I obtain the study materials?
We will make the syllabi and reading lists available. But there will be no "course pack" with cases, articles or commentaries.

Students who do not pay the registration fees for the course are not entitled to attend any of the lectures and other teaching sessions. Students who have registered for the course should carry their term cards at all times as spot checks will be conducted. Students who infringe this rule will be reported to the Singapore Institute of Legal Education for disciplinary action.
16. Can the Examination be taken overseas?
No. The Part A Examination can only be taken at the NUS Faculty of Law’s Bukit Timah Campus in Singapore.
17.. If anyone fails a relevant subject, will there be a supplementary examination? What happens if the person fails the supplementary examination as well?
Supplementary papers will be conducted in December 2014. Please refer to the schedule in Question 6. If a person fails any supplementary paper(s), he/she will have to re-take the relevant paper(s) in the next year, and will have to pay the full Examination fee again. The full Course fee (which incorporates the Examination fee) will apply if a person wishes to re-take the Course in the next year.
18. Will students be graded, and will I be given a Certificate upon passing the Examination?
A certificate of completion will be awarded to candidates who pass the requisite subjects in the Part A Bar Examination. Candidates who do exceptionally well in the subject(s) will be awarded a distinction. The distinctions achieved will be reflected on the certificate of completion.
19.

Who do I contact for further enquiries?
You may email parta-adm@nus.edu.sg. We will only be able to respond to queries on the Part A Bar Course and Examination.

For queries on curriculum matters (time-table/fees/course information), please email partacourse@nus.edu.sg

For enquiries about the “qualified person” requirements, admission into the Singapore Bar, and appeals for exemption, please contact the Ministry of Law

 

 

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