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Canon Law (PgCert)

This degree provides an opportunity for critical appraisal of Ecclesiastical Law in the context of relevant national and international law.

The Certificate Canon Law provides an opportunity for critical appraisal of Ecclesiastical Law in the context of relevant national and international law. The course works out of an inter-disciplinary perspective, with a teaching staff drawn from the fields of legal studies, theology, philosophy and ethics. 

The Certificate Canon Law is suitable for those who practise or are involved in the administration of church law and for those wishing to pursue an interest in this developing field of legal scholarship. 

The Certificate Canon Law provides an opportunity for postgraduate study in the canon law of the churches of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly that of the Church of England, and the Roman Catholic Church and the law of the State applicable to these churches. 

The programme provides academic training in the scholarly study of church law, with a substantial emphasis on practical application and the opportunity to study topics in depth in areas of canon law of particular interest to you.

Distinctive features

The Certificate Canon Law is research-led and has strong links with the prestigious Centre for Law and Religion.  The programme attracts a diverse student body including secular and ecclesiastical judges, university academics, barristers, solicitors and clergy from both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. 

The programme is taught through lectures and seminars on residential weekends over a period of up to two years, held at St Michael’s College in Cardiff. 

The structure of the Certificate Canon Law provides a high degree of flexibility as this qualification can be used for admission with advanced standing to either the Diploma or LLM Canon Law.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 year
QualificationPgCert
ModeFull-time - distance learning
Other ways to study this course
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Admissions criteria

The course is suitable for those who practise or are involved in the administration of church law and for those wishing to pursue an interest in this developing field of legal scholarship.

You should ideally have obtained at least a 2:1 class degree or equivalent. Applicants with a 2.2 class degree or equivalent will be considered taking into account the application in its entirety.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components, or an equivalent English language qualification.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Early application is strongly advised, normally well before the end of July. Later applications will be considered, but international students must bear in mind the time needed to obtain a visa.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

You must complete the two modules available in the year of registration

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one comprises two taught module of 30 credits. You will complete one module in each semester.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Doctrine, Liturgy and Rites in Canon LawCLT12330 credits
The Interface of Canon Law and Civil LawCLT12430 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Studying at postgraduate level is intensive and challenging and it is important that you take full advantage of the teaching that is provided in order to succeed. Attendance at all classes is compulsory and we will expect you to be well prepared.

Your modules will be delivered through seminars and lectures during residential weekends, individual and joint written oral presentations and distance learning.

How will I be supported?

Your learning will be supported through e-learning. All modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules.

You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme. We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops within the School with an in-house Law Careers Consultant and Pro-Bono Scheme Coordinator. A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres. 

Feedback:

Feedback is available through oral feedback during seminars and you will receive written feedback on both your formative and summative assessments. Individual feedback on formative work will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well how you might improve your performance in summative assessments. Written feedback will be made available no later than four weeks from the submission of your assessment.

How will I be assessed?

We make use of both formative and summative assessment.

Formative assessments do not count towards your degree but are designed to give you the opportunity to practice for your summative assessments and enable you and your tutors to assess your progress in your modules. Formative assessments will normally involve written coursework or a class test or may comprise individual student presentations.  

Your marks in summative assessments count towards your final award. Each Certificate Canon Law module is summatively assessed by one 5000 word essay.  

What skills will I practise and develop?

You are expected to assume a greater responsibility for your education as you undertake your postgraduate studies. Through the Certificate Canon Law, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic employability skills. During the programme you will be able to extend your communication and presentation skills, both oral and written. You will also be able to develop collaborative skills, take leadership roles and enhance skills of disciplined and independent study.

You will be encouraged to work independently to seek out legal materials for yourself, to read and analyse these materials critically and to present structured and reasoned argument under the guidance of your tutors and supervisors. 

Following successful completion of the Certificate Canon Law you will have the opportunity to continue your legal study through the Diploma or LLM Canon Law, the School’s PhD programme or through the Centre for Professional Legal Studies professional programmes (the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course). 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£5,350None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£6,950£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.