The CILEX route into the profession is now well accepted for those not wishing to pursue a degree course. However, it is not always necessary to have a legal background. Indeed, it has its attractions over the LLB route. Firstly, it is much cheaper, and students can develop their professional careers whilst studying. Secondly, there are practical units which are not normally found on degree courses.
What you'll learn
At the College, the course is taught over a two year period. There are 10 modules to complete, eight by examination and two by in class assessment. The programme is as follows:
- Introduction to Law and Practice
- Civil Litigation (Practice Paper)
- Contract Law
- Law of Wills and Succession
- Land Law
- Conveyancing (Practice Paper)
- Criminal Law
- Law of Tort
In Year 1 the compulsory professional skills module is Legal Research Skills, and in Year 2 Client Care Skills.
How you'll learn and be assessed
Only one year can be taught at a time and so Year 1 is repeated every other year. The class usually meets on Tuesday evenings from 5:15–9:30pm from September to January and then from 5:15–7:15pm for the rest of the year. The professional skills module is completed by five days full attendance at College on days mutually convenient to students and lecturer.
The class size is normally about 15 enrolled students. A variety of teaching methods are used from formal instruction to discussion of case studies and examination preparation. The College’s computer rooms can be used for completion of the in class assessments, and the Learning Resources Centre has all the major textbooks together with current periodicals. Students will be expected to undertake a certain amount of private study, and regular homework tasks are set. Both tutors may be available outside class times.
Examinations can be taken at the College and resits are available, although it is clearly advisable to pass first time! With each year the first two modules can be examined in January, and the other two in June. However, there is flexibility over when examinations can be sat, and in which order.
On the successful completion of Level 3, students are encouraged to progress to Level 6, which is also available at the College on a part time basis. After that, Fellows of the Institute can go on to qualify as a solicitor.
Please note this qualification is only open to students who were already a member of CILEx by 31 May 2021
Our alternative law entry qualification is the Access to Law course; this is open to all students who fulfil the entry criteria.
CILEx indicates that to embark on the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, you are strongly recommended to have a minimum of four GCSE grades C or above, including English Language or Literature, or qualifications at an equivalent level.
For potential students, the first thing to do is to look at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives website, and to become a member. You will need to pay a joining fee, and an annual fee to the Institute. They charge an examination fee per session. You are also encouraged to purchase the Institute’s study manuals, although teaching is done independently of these. Finally, having completed the College Enrolment Form you need to pay the tuition fees direct to the College. Fees are subject to amendment each year.