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Canon Law (Iuris Canonici Licentiatus)

Course Description

This programme deepens and broadens the knowledge acquired in the Master of Arts in Society, Law and Religion programme. The two-year programme focuses on the study of canon law and provides an introduction into the law of other religions (comparative law) and the study of capita selecta. The skills obtained will be applied during the internship and improved through personal research. This general experience will be reflected in a research paper.

This is an advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Students in the Master of Canon Law programme are fascinated by the law of the Roman Catholic Church and are familiar with its faith, organisation and mission. They seek to study in an international environment drawing students from all over the world. Their mission is to serve the People of God as a judge, a promotor of justice or an advocate in an ecclesiastical tribunal, or as chancellor, judicial vicar or expert in canon law in the diocesan Curia. Success in this master's programme leads to the canonical degree 'Iuris Canonici Licentiatus' (JCL), having preliminarily completed a course of study in theology.


A key objective of the programme is to study the seven books in the Code of Canon Law (CIC/83) in depth. Students also receive training in the various disciplines indicated in the 'Novo Codice' decree issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education. Knowledge of secular law will be improved. Research skills will be further developed and stimulated: students get acquainted with the process of conducting academic research on an advanced level, are able to develop an extensive research proposal, find all relevant sources and describe the state-of-the-art on a specific topic. The obtained knowledge and skills will be integrated while studying concrete cases, writing a thesis and participating in the internship. Students with promising results will be stimulated and prepared for the doctoral programme.

[[Career paths]]

Graduates have been appointed as judges, promotors of justice and advocates in ecclesiastical tribunals. They have also been called to serve as chancellors, judicial vicars or experts in canon law in the diocesan Curia or in Catholic organisations. Others find employment as teachers in secondary schools, the seminary or the university.

Successful graduates may also move on to the doctoral programme, where successful completion of specialised study leads to the degree of Doctor of Canon Law and the canonical degree of Iuris Canonici Doctor (JCD). These degrees bring with them the opportunity to serve the People of God as a canon lawyer.

Entry Requirements

Direct admisssion: Bachelor (or Master) of Theology; Certificate for completion of training for the priesthood (major seminary); Master of Society, Law and Religion. After preparatory programme in theology based on individual file: Master of Society, Law and Religion. More information: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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