Qualifying law degrees
Holders of a qualifying law degree are eligible to apply for an exemption against the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and may therefore join CILEx at Associate membership grade. Associate members are able to use the designatory letters ACILEx.
Additionally, candidates holding a qualifying law degree, who have successfully applied for an exemption from both CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law & Practice and the mandatory Level 6 law units which make up the CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law & Practice, may take the CILEx Graduate Fast-Track Diploma. Candidates just need to study two CILEx Level 6 Practice units (one of which must relate to the subjects studied within the law degree), and the CILEx Level 6 Client Care Skills unit to complete their studies and be upgraded to the Graduate membership Grade. Graduate members are able to use the designatory letters GCILEx
(Note: a qualifying law degree is defined as recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the successors to the Law Society in England and Wales on regulatory matters.)
General degree exemptions
Non-qualifying law degrees or degrees that have sufficient legal content will be assessed on a subject by subject basis. A full syllabus transcript must be provided with the application to CILEx so that the contents of the qualification can be mapped against the appropriate CILEx unit.
Exemptions may be granted for other appropriate qualifications. Entitlement to exemptions is entirely at the discretion of CILEx. Any application for exemption must be made in writing to the CILEx Awards department.
CILEx recognises prior certificated qualifications equivalent to CILEx units and ensures students need not repeat learning. The CILEx exemption policy and procedures have recently been reviewed following the implementation of the new CILEx professional qualifications, Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. CILEx operates an equality and diversity exemption policy and welcomes applications for exemption on the basis of comparable qualifications from recognised institutions which satisfy the CILEx criteria for awarding exemptions.
The aim of the CILEx exemption policy is to recognise appropriate prior certificated learning that can be equivalent to units in the CILEx professional qualifications and to ensure that students do not need to repeat learning that they have gained previously.
Applications may be made by CILEx students or by institutions, for example universities or other professional and/or awarding bodies which award qualifications. Applications can be made for exemption from one or more units of the professional qualifications. This article will outline how an individual student who has already completed studies for other qualifications may apply for an exemption from unit(s) of CILEx professional qualifications at Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
Annually CILEx receives over 200 applications from individual students and the most popular qualifications presented for exemption purposes are A-level law, a qualifying law degree, a non-qualifying law degree or other degree and the legal practice course. Exemptions are granted as a concession and awarded at the discretion of CILEx.
Before making any application for exemption, students are advised to read the guidance posted on the CILEx website. If a student believes that they may be eligible for an exemption, they should make the application well in advance of enrolling on an CILEx course. The majority of applications for exemption are made during the summer before the beginning of the academic year in September.
Applications for exemptions may be made from units on the CILEx professional qualifications Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and/or Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. Exemptions are granted on the basis that a recognised qualification has been completed and certificated:
- With a substantially similar content to that of a CILEx unit(s); and
- At an equivalent level or higher to that of an CILEx unit(s)
- There are two exemption pathways for students:
- Applications from students with a qualification that has already been recognised for exemption purposes on the CILEx exemptions database and applications from students whose qualification is not listed on the database; and
Applications from students with a qualification that has already been recognised for exemption purposes.
The exemption table contains details of the popular qualifications that CILEx has already recognised for exemption purposes and further information including fees payable are posted on the CILEx website.
Examples of popular qualifications recognised for exemption purposes include:
- AS and A2 Law.
- City and Guilds Level 2 Vocational Paralegal Studies Certificate.
- City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Legal Studies.
- Qualifying law degree.
- Law degree non-qualifying.
- Other degrees with some law content.
- Legal practice course.
- Bar vocational course.
Qualifications not listed on the database
If a student has passed examinations as part of completed qualifications which are not on the database at a similar or higher level and with substantially similar subject contents, they should consider the following criteria for awarding exemptions for a qualification which does not appear on the online database, including overseas qualifications:
- The qualification must be a fully completed qualification;
- At least 75% of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the relevant CILEx units must be covered;
- The level of the qualification must be comparable or higher to that of the CILEx unit for which the exemption is being sort;
- The qualification must have substantial coverage of the English legal system; and
- The rigour of assessment for the qualification must be appropriate to the level and content of the CILEx unit(s).
No exemption is given for work experience.
If a student wishes to apply for an exemption for a qualification which does not appear on the online database, it is useful if they complete a mapping exercise which will confirm the areas of similarity in the contents of the qualification they have already completed and the CILEx qualification or unit for which they are seeking an exemption.
If you have a query regarding exemptions, please contact the Assessments team on 01234 841000.
Application for Exemptions
View the exemptions table to find out more about if you qualify for exemptions and to apply using the appropriate application form. You will also find more information about exemptions here.