Following a two-week induction, the course comprises seven taught modules plus a research dissertation in a subject of your own choice. There are additional coursework essays and a case and statute analysis test. The seven taught modules are the foundation subjects prescribed by the CPE Board on behalf of the Law Society and General Council of the Bar:
-Obligations A (Contract)
-Obligations B (Tort)
-Property Law A (Land Law)
-Property Law B (Equity and Trusts)
-Public and EU Law A
-Public and EU Law B
The course is taught from Mondays to Thursdays. Students - whether full time or part time - may choose between day or evening study or combine both. All students must attend from Monday to Thursday during the first two weeks of the course, though again this may be done either during the day or in the evening.
Assessment includes an examination in each of the seven foundation subjects (each worth 10% of the total assessment); a research essay in a legal area entirely of the student's own choice. (worth 10%); four short essays covering different areas of the foundation subjects (worth a total of 10%); and a case and statute analysis exercise (worth 10%). There is also a test on the English legal system, which you must pass but which does not normally count towards your final assessment.
On graduation you will be eligible to undertake either the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Vocational Course, and from there to proceed either to a training contract with a firm of solicitors or a pupillage in a barrister's chambers. The CPE is a well-recognised route to a legal career, and many employers in the legal field actively favour postgraduate students who have a proven expertise outside the area of law. Success on the CPE will also enable you to apply to take an LLM if you wish to pursue an academic career or simply to expand your legal knowledge.
Attendance & duration
Full-time: 1 year, 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
Part-time (eve): 2 years, two evenings a week (5.30pm to 9pm) (Monday and Wednesday for year one; Tuesday and Thursday for year two)
Part-time (day): 2 years, two days a week (Monday and Wednesday for year one; Tuesday and Thursday for year two)