There are two diplomas which are considered to be a part of post-secondary education, but not higher education: the "Capacité en Droit" diploma (basic legal qualification) and the "Diplôme d'Accès aux Etudes Universitaires" (DAEU, diploma giving access to university studies).
Capacité en Droit diploma
The examinations are organised exclusively by the universities, which may possibly required double registration fees (to the private training body, and to the university, if the two institutions are different).
It is not possible to register for the second-year examinations until the first-year examinations have been successively completed. Succeeding in each of the two years involved is conditioned by passing a written examination (allowing admittance to the oral exam) and an oral exam, if the previous condition is satisfied (making possible either admittance to the second year, or the issuing of the Certificat de Capacité en Droit at the end of the second year). In the written exam, the candidate can generally choose between two subjects.
The examinations for each year of studies include two sessions, one in May generally, and the other in September. The second session therefore provides a second chance to those who completely failed the first session, or who must take the oral exam again..
Although failure is therefore allowed, it is not possible however to register for more than four years (whether or not consecutive) in each of the two years of study.
Diplôme d'Accès aux Etudes Universitaires
The modules of the DAEU can be capitalised. The diploma can be obtained over several years (a maximum of four consecutive years). There are two formulas:
- global: the examination requires a general average of at least 10;
- exam by exam: 10 must be obtained on each exam.
Some universities allow the DAEU to be obtained through validation of acquired experience (VAE, or validation des acquis de l'expérience) or distance preparation.