University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Exemption from Professional Examinations in England and Wales

Cambridge Faculty of LawBoth branches of the legal profession have examinations in two parts. To be exempt from the first of these examinations (the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or the Diploma in Law), a holder of a law degree must have passed the following seven 'Foundation' subjects:

  1. Constitutional and Administrative Law [Paper 2]
  2. Contract [Paper 10]
  3. Criminal Law [Paper 3]
  4. Land Law [Paper 11]
  5. Tort [Paper 4]
  6. Trusts [Equity] [Paper 24]
  7. The Law of the European Union [Paper 26]

Exemption from these subjects will be given to a Cambridge law graduate who has taken and passed them in his or her Cambridge examinations. A graduate who has not passed all seven subjects in his or her Cambridge examinations should enquire of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the General Council of the Bar to discover how he or she may take the ‘missing’ subjects. Students wishing to gain exemption in the foundation subjects must study law at Cambridge for a minimum of two years before graduating; this is in line with professional regulations which require a student to have spent at least one half of his or her time during a degree course on the study of law. In addition, all students seeking exemption from the CPE must successfully have completed the Freshfields Legal IT Course.

Applications for Exemption (Bar). Applications for exemption must be made on forms which are obtainable from the General Council of the Bar, Education and Training Departments, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ Tel: 020 7242 0082.

Applicants for Exemption (Solicitors Regulation Authority). Applications for exemption may be made to the Secretary of the SRA, Ipsley Court, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 0TD, Tel: 0870 606 2555 on a form obtainable from the Secretary of the SRA.

Block Exemption Certificates. The Law Faculty Office automatically forwards the names of potential solicitors eligible for exemption to the SRA. Names for this list are collected by Directors of Studies two to three months before the beginning of the Tripos examinations. The college list is then forwarded to the Faculty Office for consolidation and onward transmission to the Law Society. If for any reason a person’s name is omitted from the list, the person so omitted may apply to the Law Faculty Office for an individual certificate.