CILEx courses FAQs

The CLS Customer Service Team and Academic Team field all kinds of questions from current and prospective students. This page aims to answer some of the most common ones regarding our CILEx courses.

If you have a question that is not answered here do get in touch via email at or give us a call on 01234 844 300.

Choosing your courses

CILEx Level 3 courses are equivalent to A-level in academic standard.

There are no entry requirements to enrol on CILEx Level 3 courses but CILEx recommends that students have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C or above or 9-4(including English language or literature).

Each CILEx qualification has mandatory and non-mandatory components. We would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the qualification structure before enrolling. You can find more specific information about what courses are required to complete each qualification on the following page:

If you are still in doubt, give us a call for advice!

You can enrol at any time but we would encourage you to consider current commitments before you do so. If you have a big family occasion or an anticipated house move, wait until afterwards to enrol and you won’t waste any of your 15-month course validity period.

You should only send in your application form when you are ready to start studying particular course(s). Please bear in mind that it will take a few days to process and dispatch materials, so plan accordingly.

No. Even though you need to complete a specific combination of CILEx courses to complete your Graduate Fast-track Diploma (GFTD), you do not need to enrol on all of them at once. CILEx will award you the qualification when you have passed all the required courses.

Please check with CILEx that they will recognise your qualifying law degree or GDL prior to enrolling with us.

CLS courses are studied by flexible supported distance learning. This means that you can complete qualifications as quickly or as slowly as you want, depending on the time you can allocate to studying.

However, it will generally take students a minimum of 2-3 years to complete the Level 3 Professional Diploma and a further 2-3 years to complete the Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma.

If you are a law graduate the GFTD will usually take 18-24 months.


According to CILEx, exams that have previously been passed will always be held on your records, ready to be picked up when you decide to start your studies again. Once the result has been obtained there is no time limit as to when the other units have to be completed, so long as they are for a current qualification.

Our CILEx courses are valid for 15 months from the date of enrolment.

There are two CILEx exam sessions each year, one in January and one in June, and it is up to you which exam session you choose. The 15-month validity is designed to always cover at least two exam sessions so you can decide which one to target. Do note that the 15 month course validity also means that if you take five courses out together they will all expire at the same time. We would recommend that you consider the time that you can commit and only enrol on the number of courses you think you can manage.

If you are starting Level 3 then you should start with Unit 1 (unless you have an exemption due to having an A-level in law). We also recommend that you should study a law unit before, or alongside, its related practice unit rather than the other way round. We know it can be daunting to know where to start if you have taken out several courses at once, particularly if you are fitting professional skills courses alongside law and practice courses, so do get in touch so that we can advise you.

If you have taken out a Level 3 Certificate package, you will receive a timetable to help plan your studies. We would also encourage you to spread the courses across the 15-month course validity period.

CILEx exams


CILEx regulations require that all persons sitting CILEx exams have undertaken a course with an accredited provider.

So you cannot simply purchase a CLS manual, study independently and then register to sit the CILEx exam.

Yes. You will need to arrange for an exam centre to be approved by CILEx and they may not always be able to accommodate you.

CILEx sets, marks and invigilates exams so you will need to contact them directly to make the necessary arrangements.

You will need to do this well ahead of time as it will require setting up an examination centre. Get in touch with CILEx for more information.

Yes, as many times as you want.

You can simply re-enter in the next exam session.

You can also reinstate on your CLS course at a significant discount if it has expired.

No. You can sit exams at any session within the 15-month validity of your course, or even the session after your course expires (though do bear in mind that you will not be kept up to date with new course materials and your course page will no longer be available on the Student Area).

We estimate that each course requires a minimum study input of 70 hours at Level 3 and 150 hours at Level 6 so we would recommend not sitting any exams until your study is well advanced.

You will need to have registered for the exam within the CILEx deadline, which is usually around ten weeks before the start of the exam session.

CILEx runs two exam sessions per year, one in January and one in June.

You should note that you need to be a registered CILEx member to sit the exams (unless you are enrolled on a Level 6 single course which you are not taking as part of a broader qualification). Please also bear in mind that there is a registration deadline to be able to sit the exams. Visit the specific course pages for information on dates and deadlines.

A list of external exam centres for distance learning students can be found on the CILEx website under the Study tab. The centre details will be confirmed by CILEx in your exam permit papers, which are issued two weeks beforehand.

Getting started – how the courses work


An induction is a great introduction to CLS and your CILEx courses, and we would recommend that everyone attend a session if you haven’t studied with us before, or you are moving from Level 3 to Level 6. However, please don’t wait to get started with your studying. We run weekly welcome webinars for which you can sign up for and which will provide you with answers to any initial questions you may have.

These are extracted from the CILEx course syllabus (unit specification) which outlines examinable topics.

We include them to highlight the criteria you need to meet for the exam.

Study exercises and mock assignments are not mandatory, with the exception of the mock assignment in the professional skills courses (Level 3 Client Care and Legal Research; Level 6 Client Care).

However, we would strongly encourage you to submit the study exercises and mock exams as they provide an invaluable opportunity to get personalised tutor feedback and guidance.

CLS is an accredited provider of CILEx courses. This means that we are accredited by CILEx – the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – to deliver training to students who wish to sit CILEx exams.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the awarding body. This means that they provide the accreditation for the CILEx qualifications, set and mark the CILEx exams and represent CILEx members. Although CLS is owned by CILEx, the functions of the two organisations are entirely separate.

When you enrol onto CILEx Level 3 Unit 1 Introduction to Law and Practice, we send you a suggested timetable and a timetable template.

You do not need to follow the suggested timetable but we would encourage you to plan your courses using the template to ensure that you are able to sit your exams within your course validity period.

Please call us if you would like any advice on scheduling your studies.

We offer an induction day at both Level 3 and Level 6.

An induction day is included in the Unit 1 course fee at Level 3. This provides study skills not just for Unit 1 (which is examined by multiple-choice questions), but also prepares you for written work in your law and practice units. The induction days give details on how CILEx courses are delivered by CILEx Law School. You will do a number of activities, such as planning your study timetable and looking at how to answer different styles of exam question. The induction days are not specific to any unit.

You are also encouraged to attend an induction day when you first enrol with us at Level 6, whether or not you have studied with us at Level 3. The cost of the induction day is included in the Level 6 course fee. The induction day is not course-specific but is designed to equip you with key study skills appropriate to your level of study. Importantly, it will also show you how to get the most from the online and printed course resources.

Inductions days should not be confused with skills workshops which provide specific support for the CILEx Level 3 Client Care and Legal Research courses and CILEx Level 6 Client Care course.

Welcome webinars provide a brief, condensed snapshot of CILEx Law School, how you will be supported in your studies and what you can expect from your CILEx course at CLS.

You should sign up for one as soon as you have enrolled on one of our CILEx courses to get you started with your studies.

Yes, you will usually have materials to review, and possibly questions to answer, prior to the session, so do remember to check and prepare ahead of time!

The webinar will be accessible via link on the Student Area.

Don’t forget to check ahead of time to locate the link and complete any preparatory exercises required.

The only deadline set by CLS is for the submission of Client Care and Legal Research mock and assessed assignments.

We do this to give you the best chance to get your assignment to a level where they can be entered into the upcoming CILEx exam session.

All other deadlines are set by CILEx and you should contact them directly if you have any queries.

The professional skills deadlines are the only deadlines set by CLS. You should see them as the last possible date to submit your assignments in time for the next CILEx exam session.

The deadlines allow enough time for us to mark your assignments at least once before the CILEx exam entry deadline.

We strongly recommend that you submit your assignments ahead of the CLS deadlines if possible, as this may allow time for further submissions if you don’t pass on the first attempt.

Other questions

You will receive a qualification certificate from CILEx and your membership grade will change to reflect your achievement.

Contact us to find out what you should study next.

When your course expires you will no longer have access to CLS facilities, such as the Student Area, tutor assignment feedback and the Academic email and phone helplines.

You can, however, still enter for CILEx exams and submit your professional skills assessed assignments to CILEx, provided you have achieved a provisional pass from CLS.

You can also reinstate at a significant discount.

Studying with us

Esther Woodhouse talks about how she was able to tailor her CILEx studies to her and her employer’s needs.