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
This is in general an initiation to the main legal subject matter taught at the Licence level, but here, in much less depth. The content does in itself however provide a homogeneous legal baggage that can be used and opens doors to the French legal system, its administration and its political institutions.
The education is provided using various methods:
- through in-class courses (which in principle require the presence of the student), or as initial training (evening classes in the week + during the day on Saturday), or as continuing education (according to a similar schedule or during the day). This teaching is provided through classes that last two to four hours in the evening. Tutorial classes covering in particular the methodology and the basic learning, are also organised (often only in the first year).
- through correspondence, provided by public or private bodies, through the mail via internet (digital university). Grouping students together at the head location of the institutions are scheduled on a regular basis in general.
The training centres are of a diverse nature, and are especially public (in particular within the Faculties of Law) and occasionally para-public (associations linking the university to a public authority) or private (often through correspondence or on an alternating basis, in this case).
The content of the course curricula complies with a national model which can, in practice, be adapted locally by each faculty. The subjects are organised as follows, for the purposes of information:
Subjects in the first year:
- Private law (Commercial and civil law);
- Public law (Administrative and constitutional law);
- Tutorial classes on Private law;
- Tutorial classes on Public law.
Subjects in the second year:
- Civil procedure;
- Criminal law and criminal procedure;
- Political economy;
- Special administrative law;
- Notary private law;
- Social law;
- Tax law;
- Construction and real-estate taxation.
Diplôme d'Accès aux Etudes Universitaires (DAEU)
The DAEU offers two options which each contain a minimum of four subjects (two are compulsory and two are optional) corresponding to a minimum of 225 hours of education. The subjects depend on the option selected.
DAEU option A: literary, legal
- French (basic knowledge in French literature and civilisation);
- Modern languages.
The optional subjects can differ according to the universities: history, geography, maths, etc.
DAEU option B: scientific
- French (argumentative text, written comprehension, text summary, discussion);
The optional subjects can differ according to the universities: modern language, physics, chemistry, nature and life science, etc.