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LLM in Canon Law

Westminster Abbey

There is a growing acknowledgment, among legal scholars and practitioners, of the need to understand the complex rules which govern religious institutions.

The LLM in 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.

Introduced in 1991 as the first degree of its type at a British University since the Reformation, its curriculum continues to widen and deepen in response to the increasing need to understand the way that religion, law and politics are intertwined in pluralizing late modernity.

This course has relevance for practising lawyers, those involved in the administration of church law, and academics who recognize the cutting-edge nature of disciplined research in the conjunction of religion and law.

Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Canon Law

The Canon Law programme is also available as a stand-alone Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma target qualification and is aimed at students who may not be able to commit to the requirements of the full LLM programme.

The structure of the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Canon Law provides a high degree of flexibility for students as these qualifications can be used for admission with advanced standing to either the Diploma or LLM.  In addition, students registered on the Certificate or Diploma can request a transfer to the Diploma or LLM. 

Key features:


Please note that modules are likely to change from time to time.

Study mode

Part-time: taught over eight residential weekends over two years, held at St Michael's College in Llandaff or Aberdare Hall in Cardiff.


Certificate in Canon Law

Students must complete any two of the four modules available.
Module selection will determine whether the Certificate is completed in one or two academic years.

Diploma in Canon Law

All four modules are compulsory.  Students must complete two modules per academic year.

LLM Canon Law

All four modules are compulsory.  Students must complete two modules per academic year.  Students must also complete a dissertation (not exceeding 15,000 words, due in December in the second year of study).


Most modules are assessed by an essay of 5,000 words, or other approved methods.

For information regarding Entry Requirements and Tuition Fees please see the University Course Finder page.

Start date

Usually late September


Early application is recommended. Please see our how to apply pages.

To find out more please see LLM Programme

Further details



  Student Services Office
  Cardiff Law School
  CF10 3AX
  Wales, UK

  +44 (0)29 2087 6102 / 4588 / 5406

Route convenor:
  Norman Doe



"The LLM in Canon Law helped move my professional practice towards greater specialism in church law and religious freedom and preserved my sanity in the relentless monotony of civil litigation! More importantly, I forged an invigorating academic collaboration with Professor Norman Doe, for who enthusiasm, wisdom and encouragement I remain deeply indebted."

Honorary Professor

Mark Hill QC