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 Bar Standards Board 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 Skills and Methodology Course (Paper 5).

Applications for Exemption (Bar): Applications for exemption must be made on forms which are available at Queries can be e-mailed to

Applications for Exemption (Solicitors Regulation Authority): Further information on applying for exemption is available at