Taught course

Common Professional Exam - GDL

London Metropolitan University · Guildhall School of Business and Law

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a UK first degree at 2.2 or above (applicants who do not hold a UK first degree must obtain a Certificate of Academic Standing from either the Solicitors Regulation Authority (tel: +44 (0)370 606 2555) or The Bar Council (tel: +44 (0)20 7242 0082))

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Students who have failed any units on the CPE/GDL, LLB or any other law course at this or any other institution will not be considered for a place.

Months of entry


Course content

Why study this course?

This is an intensive postgraduate conversion course designed for graduates in subjects other than law who wish to qualify to take either the Legal Practice Course (to become solicitors) or the Bar Vocational Course (to become barristers). It will help you develop an understanding of the English legal system, give you a thorough grounding of legal knowledge and train you in the professional skills of legal research, analysis and presentation. In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

The Common Professional Exam will give you a sound knowledge of the seven areas of law considered fundamental by the professional bodies. The seven areas of law involve contracts, tort, constitutional and administrative law, European Union law, land law, equity and trusts, and criminal law.

You'll acquire an understanding of the legal system and processes and develop an appreciation of the relationship between national and community law.

You may choose your own title for your research dissertation, subject to approval, which gives you the early opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest to you.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to identify, find and use a range of sources of legal information to assist in legal study, communicate legal information efficiently and understand the relationship between different areas of law.


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 your 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.

Course structure

Core modules include:

  • Assessed Essays
  • Case and Statute Analysis
  • Criminal Law

Please refer to the course page on the London Met website for the full list of modules.

Career opportunities

On graduation, you'll be eligible to undertake either the Legal Practice Course or 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 Common Professional Exam (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.

Fees and funding

UK students
View the course page on the London Met website for fee information
International students
View the course page on the London Met website for fee information

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
+44 (0)20 7133 4202