How our CILEx courses work

Our CILEx courses are delivered by supported distance learning, and you can enrol on any course at any time of year.

Course delivery

We are dedicated to giving our students the best chance of success and are continuously reviewing and updating our resources and their delivery to ensure that they are up to date. Our students enjoy consistently higher exam results and, as a CILEx Law School student, you will benefit from a wide range of support:

CILEx Level 3 and Level 6 courses are delivered by supported distance learning, with online, face-to-face and telephone support. There are no fixed enrolment dates so you can enrol at any time of year. The course is valid for 15 months and you need to complete all the study exercises and mock assignment within this period.

Each unit will typically take 70 hours to complete at Level 3 and 150 hours at Level 6 (70 for the Level 6 professional skills courses) including studying and revision. You can decide how you will allocate that time according to your other commitments. There will be at least two exam sessions within the period of duration of your course, and you can select which you wish to aim for.

Level 3 courses are set at A-level standard and Level 6 courses are set a Honours Degree standard.

All our CILEx courses are written to deliver the CILEx syllabus for each unit. The courses, including the accompanying manuals, are republished annually to ensure the content is up to date. You can find the table of contents (TOC) of each manual on the relevant product page.

Our course materials vary according to the type of unit being studied to reflect the different nature of the course content. All resources are designed to help you gain the knowledge you require in the most effective way.

  • Course manual: written to deliver the CILEx syllabus for each unit. It is republished annually each summer and complemented by a spring update in the following year to ensure that your knowledge is current for the summer exam session. The course manual is in paper format and will be sent out with accompanying materials upon enrolment
  • CLS Hub: this is a personalised, virtual-learning environment through which you will access your tutor-monitored course forum and the other course resources outlined below. You will be sent login details upon enrolment
  • Student Handbook: this explains how your course works and how to get the most from your studies. It is the starting point on the CLS Hub for the study of each course
  • Mini lectures: these webcasts give you an introduction to important, or tricky, topics that are covered in your course manual and are an excellent aid to comprehension
  • Multiple-choice questions (MCQs): the Unit 1 exam takes the form of a multiple choice test, so we offer practice MCQs and a MCQ mock exam via the CLS Hub to prepare you for the Unit 1 exam. MCQs are also offered for law and practice units for self-testing of knowledge
  • Study exercise: the two study exercises each contain a number of questions which are designed to ensure that you learn to apply the law and practice knowledge that you gain through reading the course manual. The study exercise questions are structured to help you understand the syllabus content and are marked by your personal tutor. These are an excellent preparation for answering questions in the exam
  • Course Summary/ Revision Guides: a summary of the course syllabus which is an invaluable revision aid
  • Revision materials: these are specially written in advance of law and practice revision sessions. They take the form of exam-type revision questions which are worked through during the revision session, and the corresponding answers so that you can check your understanding. For practice units, the revision session focuses on case study materials pre-released by CILEx in advance of the exam
  • Mock exam: the law and practice unit courses include a mock exam which your personal tutor will mark. Suggested solutions to the mock exam are also available
  • Legal research database: a leading online legal database for you to look up case law and statutes

Your personalised, online study zone within our CLS Hub will give you access to many interactive resources to support and underpin your learning as you go along. Every course includes an online administration section, course materials, access to a course Forum and a leading online legal research database. Additional online course features for specific unit types are described in the course resources section below. We encourage you to make good use of all the resources and support available to ensure that you progress through the course and maximise your chances of exam success. All students are required to have access to the internet and a personal email address. A computer specification is given here.

When you enrol on CILEx Level 3 Unit 1 (or a package which includes Unit 1) or your first Level 6 course, you are invited to attend an induction. This is designed to ensure that you use all your course resources to best effect and that you maximise the learning potential from your study time. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other students face to face, as well as a representative of our team. You will be introduced to the course and learn how to approach legal study, including note-taking and answering questions.

Level 3 Induction 

You will be introduced to note-taking techniques and shown how to apply knowledge to a legal problem. You will also learn how to make the most of all the support that is available to you, and be shown how to use the CLS Hub resources.

Level 6 Induction 

If you are new to studying at this level, or new to studying with CILEx Law School, we would strongly recommend that you book a place on the induction. Even if you have already studied with us at Level 3 you will find this session of great value. Tuition focuses on advanced study techniques. You will be taught how to assimilate and apply knowledge at this academic level, which is equivalent to the final year of an honours degree.

How to book

You can book your induction at any time after you have enrolled by click on the ‘Book an event’ tile in the CLS CRM Portal.

As soon as you enrol on your course you will be invited to attend a welcome webinar. This provides you with the opportunity to make contact with a member our team, and to establish an understanding of the structure of our course provision and how we at CLS can support you throughout your studies. These act as an excellent precursor to attending an induction. As you get closer to your exams you will be invited to attend a revision session for your law or legal practice units.

On-course support is available from our Academic Team by telephone during office hours, and our designated tutors on the course forums are on hand to help you with course queries. You will be part of a ‘learning community’, so you will never feel isolated or that you are on your own. Most importantly, on law and practice courses you will have the opportunity to submit work and get feedback from our specialist subject tutors. This gives you excellent preparation for exams and is the best way to find out if you have not only learnt the information in your course manual, but also understood how to apply it to exam-style questions.

CILEx Law School, CILEx and CILEx Regulation

CILEx Law School is your course provider and is part of CILEx. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is the awarding body which sets the exams for all CILEx qualifications and deals with membership applications, subscription payments and exam administration including dates, fees and venues.

As a prospective CILEx Law School student, you should be aware that you will deal with three key organisations as part of your studies with us, each with a different function:

CILEx Law School (CLS) is a CILEx course provider. We prepare you to sit the CILEx exams. You will deal with us with every aspect relating to your CILEx courses, including the Student Area, submitting study exercises and mock assessments or assignments. We are also on hand with expert support and guidance.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is the CILEx membership body. You will deal with CILEx in matters relating to exams registration, locations and fees, as well as those relating to your CILEx membership (which is required unless you are sitting a single CILEx Level 6 unit).

CILEx Regulation oversees qualification and member regulation to ensure that both meet and adhere to the required standards. Once you achieve Associate Membership, CILEx Regulation will also monitor your Continuing Professional Development (CDP), unless you are a non-practising member.

CILEx information

In addition to your course fees, which are payable to CILEx Law School, you will also have fees relating to CILEx and CILEx Regulation. These fees will cover your membership, exam registration and qualifying employment review.

Law and practice exams take place at CILEx-accredited exam centres, and you will have to travel to one of the centres to take your exams. Professional skills are assessed by coursework, but you still pay an assessment fee to CILEx. All students wishing to sit CILEx exams will need to be CILEx members, with the exception of those sitting single Level 6 units, in which case an exemption fee applies.

Once enrolled with us, you must contact CILEx separately to register as a member and to enter for exams.

Exams are held in January and June every year. When you enrol with us on a course we do not specify which exam session you should register for, as our courses are designed to offer maximum flexibility. You may have a lot of available time and wish to enter the first available exam, or you may need to use the full period of your course if you are fitting your studies around many other commitments. If you would like advice on which exam session to aim for, and how to use the exam sessions to spread your academic workload across the year, please contact us.

You must register as a member with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), and pay the annual membership fee, to be eligible to enter the exam. There is one exception, which is if you are studying for a Level 6 Single Subject Certificate. The amount payable depends on the relevant membership level.

The CILEx subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December each year. Depending on when you join during the membership year the membership fee will be calculated on a pro-rata basis from the date of registration to 31 December.

CILEx membership aims to provide you with all of the support you need to have a successful career in law, including exclusive products and services:

  • Subscription to the quarterly CILEx Journal magazine and a weekly CILEx newsletter

  • Recognition via CILEx Annual Awards for yourself and/or your firm

  • Broaden your professional network by joining your regional CILEx branch

  • Access to bespoke career development guidance and professional development opportunities with exclusive member access to myCareer

  • As a CILEx member you can save 20% on all Oxford University Press books

  • Access to the CILEx Benevolent Fund for by any CILEx member facing difficult financial times

  • Access to LawCare, a free and confidential health advisory service

  • Invitation to attend annual graduation ceremony, upon achievement of the necessary membership grade

  • Entitlement to use the designatory letters (FCILEx – Fellows, GCILEx – Graduate members, ACILEx – Associate members)

  • Access to WideWallet, a wide range of national and local offers

More information is available on the CILEx website.

Each CILEx law and practice unit is examined by an unseen exam. The skills units, Client Care and Legal Research, are assessed by written assignment. An exam fee is payable for each exam you enter.

CILEx reviews its fees annually.

Exemptions are available from some units if you already have an A level, or certain other law qualifications. Before enrolling on any course with us, please contact CILEx to check that you don’t already have exemptions from the related CILEx unit and to confirm any exemption you wish to claim.

A fee may be payable against any exemption.

If you are working towards a CILEx qualification (rather than studying simply to gain subject knowledge) we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the structure of the qualification you are studying towards prior to submitting an application.

Frequently asked questions

We’ve answered some of the most common questions we get regarding our CILEx courses.