Only one-third of students who pass the Bar training course secure a pupillage, according to figures released from the regulator.

The Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) data showed that 35% of all UK and EU domiciled graduates enrolled on the Bar Professional Training Course in the academic years commencing in 2011-13 have gained pupillage since completing the course, which costs up to £18,000.

The number of women securing pupillage is now similar to that of men although more women than men take the course. The BSB said that white candidates may also be more successful than those from ethnic minority backgrounds, though it said more research is needed on the subject.

BSB director of education and training, Dr Simon Thornton-Wood, said: ‘We are very aware that training to become a barrister can be expensive. We hope that the publication of today’s statistics will help students considering a career at the Bar to make a fully informed decision.’

He added: ‘When considering these statistics, I urge people not to look at any one factor or chart in isolation. There are many variables in play, and we intend our report to be considered in its entirety.’

Meanwhile, a PhD study Professional Intervention, Social Mobility and Access to the Legal Profession, funded by Keele University and Inner Temple, showed that students from non-traditional backgrounds continue to face serious challenges to access the profession, despite the efforts of the profession, universities and others. Poor careers advice and money worries were key issues raised by students questioned, who had taken part in the Pegasus Access and Support Scheme or Pathways to Law programme.