The Common Professional Examination or CPE is the route taken by those without a law degree as their first degree, to allow them entry onto the LPC or BPTC programmes.
If you have a first degree that is not in law, then you cannot directly enter the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to become a barrister or the Learning Practice Course (LPC) for future solicitors.
The Common Professional Exam is a full-time one year intensive course or two year part-time course that can be taken in the day or evening. Due to the Common Professional Examination awarding a diploma it became known as the Graduate Diploma in law or GDL.
CPE Syllabus Information
There are seven core modules that are covered on the CPE programme and a research dissertation which can be chosen by the candidate, subject to approval by a faculty member. A number of essays and a case and statute analysis test also need to be completed.
The following core subjects were recommended by the Joint Academic Stage Board on behalf of the Law Society and the General Council of the bar:
• Obligations A (Contract)
• Obligations B (Tort)
• Property Law A (Land Law)
• Property Law B (Equity and Trusts)
• European Public and Private Law
• UK Public Law
• Criminal Law
How is the CPE Assessed?
CPE assessment involves an exam for each of the core modules listed above, which each account for 10 per cent of total marks. The research essay attracts 10 per cent of total marks and there are four short essays that collectively account for 10 per cent.
The case and statute analysis test is also worth 10 per cent. There is an additional English Legal System test that has to be passed but does not usually affect final grades. The CPE course can be studied full or part-time.
Most candidates are fully aware of the aggressive competition for Training Contracts and Pupillages in England and Wales. Finding the right CPE course is crucial to securing the best possible Training Contracts and Pupillages so gaining access to the top CPE course providers is the first step to a successful legal career. Don’t leave your professional career as a solicitor or a barrister to chance, and find the best training providers in the UK