Faculty of LawComenius University Bratislava

Canon Law

Information on study programme

Name of the study programme:

Canon Law

Field of study:

30. Law/ISCED-F 0421 Law

Cycle/level of qualification:

third/ISCED 8

Academic title:

doctor (philosophiae doctor) (PhD.)


Slovak, English

Form of study:




Code PraF UK AIS2


Standard length of study:

three years (full-time)/four years (part-time)

Method of study

attendance method

Graduate profile and educational goals

A graduate of the doctoral studies in the study program Canon Law masters the methods of basic and applied research in legal sciences, serving to carry out research with the necessary scientific invention. The graduate can skillfully connect knowledge of canon law with general knowledge in the field of legal theory, but also in other legal fields, whether related (all secular public law branches) or historically and propaedeutically related (Roman law). The graduate possesses knowledge of the subject areas at the highest level and presents them primarily in his publishing activities.

The graduate can analyze, synthesize and compare relevant institutes of canon law with institutes of related legal branches. The graduate is able to use all supporting scientific methods of research in scientific work and apply them not only to the norms of universal canon law, but also to particular law, expertly assessing their mutual relations, complementarity and possible theoretical conflicts or inconsistencies in their practical application. In addition, he can assess their relations to secular law (especially in the context of confessional law). The graduate is able, with his personal scientific contribution, to shape the further development of canon law on a particular, but also universal level, deciding when analyzing the problem for the most suitable possible procedures in order to find a solution.

The graduate is able to apply the results of his own theoretical research in solving practical problems. Based on his own invention, he can design, verify and implement the acquired knowledge in order to further develop known scientific knowledge. Within the framework of the canon law system, he is capable of identifying its shortcomings, proposing original or historically proven solutions to eliminate them, using appropriate methods also based on other legal systems, respectively relevant legal branches. At the same time, the graduate applies the most advanced and specialized skills required to solve fundamental problems.

The graduate is able to think independently critically and analytically when applying his knowledge to changing social conditions, being able to present his conclusions in the field of canon law or related legal fields before the professional community in Slovakia and abroad.

The graduate is capable of scientific-pedagogical work at the appropriate methodological and pedagogical level in the field of law, not only in the legal system of canon law, but also in related legal systems and branches.

The graduate is capable of self-confident behavior, application of innovative approaches and procedures, independence, including scientific and professional competence. These skills are manifested primarily in the graduate's ability to identify the focus of research, to coordinate a scientific team of canonists, as well as to publish relevant scientific outputs in a quality that meets the standards of the Internal System for Quality Assurance of Higher Education of the Comenius University in Bratislava (Internal Regulation No. 23/2021), including the standards of the Internal Regulation no. 5/2021 regulating the internal system of quality assurance of higher education under the conditions of the Comenius University in Bratislava, the Faculty of Law and the Standard for the Internal System of Quality Assurance of Higher Education of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (hereinafter referred to as "Quality Standards").


The goals of education in the canon law study program are achieved through the following measurable educational outputs in individual parts of the study program, which consists of a teaching part, a scientific part and a pedagogical part.

Teaching part - mainly teaching within profile subjects:

Methodology of science

Methodology of qualitative legal research

Within the above-mentioned subjects, it is ensured that the individual study programs of doctoral studies are strengthened in the study part in a common basis from the point of view of the methodology of science.

Within the Methodology of Science subject, student outputs are presented by the ability to formulate research hypotheses, by deepening skills in the application of methods of analysis and synthesis when writing scientific works, by complying with the requirements of the Quality Standards.

As part of the subject Methodology of qualitative legal research, the student will learn the method of qualitative research, which is in the context of determining the purpose and goals, the collection of data, the process of their analysis up to the writing of the final report, aimed at understanding and interpreting the meanings that the researching persons assigns to their experiences and perceptions . The goal is the search for causes and connections in the worlds of individuals and subsequent inductive prediction leading to answers to research questions.

Basics and application of legal education: methodology of the pedagogical process


By completing the subject, the student acquires core knowledge and relevant information, on the basis of which he is able to formulate the goals and content of their own pedagogical process. They control the organizational forms, didactic principles and teaching methods that are profiling for the pedagogical process, while they are capable of selecting them flexibly and correctly depending on the requirements of the pedagogical process, the taught subject and the target group. Based on their own knowledge, he identifies individual general and special requirements for the preparation of partial parts of the teaching process, emphasizing the specifics of teaching focused on legal education. 

Canon Latin 1 (PP)

The course deepens students' knowledge of the Latin language and provides them with space for studying and interpreting Latin canonical texts in the field of constitutional and administrative canon law.

Canon Latin 2 (PP)

The subject provides space for the study and interpretation of Latin canonical texts from the area of sacramental and procedural law. At the same time, students acquire the ability to communicate in Latin, the international language of canonists.


Management and administration of the canonical process (PP)

The student will deepen his ability to interpret the content of individual procedural acts within the church process, its basic logic, philosophy and theology, and at the same time acquire practical skills in compiling individual procedural acts in disputes, criminal and administrative process.


Jurisprudence of the Roman Rota (PP)

The student will acquire the skills of a complex orientation in the jurisprudence of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota and the application of acquired knowledge in canon law practice.


Canonization Canon Law (PVP)

The student acquires knowledge in the field of beatification and canonization, being able to put it into practice.


Criminal substantive canon law (PVP)

The student will become familiar with the specifics of criminal canon law according to the Sixth Book of the Code of Canon Law from 1983 and other sources with a focus on their material law side.


Law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (EPC)

Students expand their knowledge of the legal order of the Eastern Catholic Churches, while being able to practically apply the provisions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) and other relevant sources.


Special Canonical Processes (PVP)

The student will become familiar with the specifics of some special canonical processes according to the Seventh Book of the Codex of Canon Law from 1983 and other sources. Special attention is paid to the new norm enshrined in the motu proprio Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus amending the codex canons regulating the process for the declaration of marital nullity.


Criminal canonical procedural law (CLA)

The student will become familiar with the specifics of criminal canon law according to the Seventh Book of the Code of Canon Law from 1983 and other sources with a focus on their procedural side.


Concordat law (PVP)

The student acquires the ability to analyze and interpret normative treaties concluded by the Holy See with individual states. Special attention is paid to the Basic Treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Holy See and other similar treaties with neighboring states. By completing this subject, the student will be able to cooperate in the creation and adoption of concordats, taking into account the relevant provisions of canonical and international law.



Scientific part

The minimum scope of compulsory optional scientific activity results from the Directive of the Dean of Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law, which regulates the evaluation of selected scientific activities of university teachers, researchers and doctoral students at Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law (Internal Regulation No. 1/2018). Pursuant to Article 6(1) of Internal Regulation no. 1/2018 the faculty of law annually prepares an overall assessment of the scientific and professional activity of the persons listed in Art. 1, including doctoral students. During the evaluated period (1 calendar year), the doctoral student of the faculty of law is obliged to achieve an evaluation of at least 30 points for the publication activity in the case of a full-time doctoral student, and at least 20 points in the case of a part-time doctoral student. A full-time doctoral student must achieve at least 35 points in the overall evaluation for the evaluated period (1 calendar year). A doctoral student in an external form of study is obliged to achieve at least 25 points in the overall evaluation for the evaluated period (1 calendar year). The specific number of points for individual categories follows from Art. 2-5 of Internal Regulation no. 1/2018: https://www.flaw.uniba.sk/fileadmin/praf/O_fakulte/Dokumenty/VP_2018/VP_2018_01.pdf

The quality of the publication activity of doctoral students, especially in the context of the Quality Standards, is evaluated annually by the Council for the Quality of Science and Doctoral Studies of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law.


Pedagogical part

The doctoral student, at the beginning also under the supervision of their supervisor, applies and improves the skills in teaching that he previously acquired through their own observation in the mentioned subjects and within the profile subject Basics and application of legal education: methodology of the pedagogical process. 



Employment of graduates

Graduates of the study program Canon Law in PhD. study find application primarily as pedagogues working at civil or church institutions providing education in the field of church law. In the Western European academic environment, for example, it is quite common for church law to be taught by persons who are not from an institutional church environment, do not belong to hierarchical structures, are not priests or religious, but with their expertise contribute to the connection between the institutional Church and secular institutions. In the civil sphere, they can be employed as highly qualified employees of institutions entering into relations with church institutions (for example, work in state administration, diplomacy or in the creation of so-called confessional state legislation, etc.). In the church sphere, PhD graduates can study to work also as workers at the central level (in the judicial or administrative bodies of the Roman Curia) or at the particular level (ecclesiastical judiciary or administration). 

Admission requirements and procedure

Required skills and requirements for admission to study:

Conditions for admission to study at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law, according to § 57 of Act no. 131/2002 Coll. on Higher Education Institutions and on Amendments to Certain Acts as amended and information pursuant to Art. 3 par. 5 of the rules of the admission procedure at the Comenius University in Bratislava (internal regulation No. 4/2021):


Procedures for admission to study:

Rules of the admission procedure at Comenius University (internal regulation 4/2021)


Recommended study plan and information sheets


Recommended study plan:





Information sheets:






Recommended study plan:





Information sheets:




Study Programme Council

 Members of the Study Programme Council:



prof. ICDr. Cyril Vasiľ, PhD.VUPCHVTČ
Co-guarantor:prof. JUDr. Mgr. Vojtech Vladár, PhD.VUPCHVTČ
Mons. prof. ThDr. ICLic. PaedDr. Ján Duda, PhD.VUPCHVTČ
doc. JUDr. Mgr. Michal Mrva, PhD., LL.M.VUPCHVTČ
doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Ondrej Podolec, PhD.VUPCHVTČ

JUDr. JCLic. Ronald Němec, Ph.D.

External member:

   Mons. JCDr. Tibor Hajdu, PhD.



Meetings of the Study Program Council:



Minutes (in Slovak):


discussion of the graduate profile proposal 



evaluation of the study programme for the year 2022/2023  



discussing and approving updates to curriculum descriptions and the internal evaluation report  








Accreditation Council of the CU, FLAW




Accreditation Council of the CU



Framework agreement on cooperation with an external educational institution: Agreement

Descriptions of study programs and internal evaluation reports:

Study program code CRŠ/PraF UK AIS2: