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Licentiate in Safeguarding

The Licentiate in Safeguarding is a multidisciplinary, two-year program. It is one of the few holistic programs on a second-cycle degree level in its field and aims to prepare scholars for the culturally-tailored adaptation of safeguarding measures in their native countries or countries of employment. Its goal is to train experts for the practical application of the comprehensive theoretical understanding of safeguarding. 

All graduates are equipped to confront complex safeguarding situations with strategic approaches, drawing on theoretical and practical competencies to create, carry out, and evaluate safeguarding measures. They are capable of guiding and managing safeguarding teams. 

Safeguarding Specialists

Our licentiate students come from countries all over the world. Some are religious or priests, others lay people. They have backgrounds in educational science, social work, psychology, theology, (canon) law, and related disciplines. Some hold bachelor’s degrees, others master’s or doctoral degrees. Some have had ample work experience inside or outside the field of safeguarding. Yet, they all have at least one thing in common: the determination to make the world a safer place for children and vulnerable adults – especially in church contexts.

Course Description

Students acquire specialized and interdisciplinary competencies within the field of safeguarding through this comprehensive two-year course, during which they will accumulate 120 European Credit Transfer System credits (ECTS), leading to a Licentiate in Safeguarding. During the first year, they will acquire theoretical knowledge and competencies in six macro-areas: types of abuse, victims/survivors, perpetrators, institutions, intervention, and prevention. In the second year, they will have a whole-semester internship (in institutions abroad) and, during the fourth semester, the final macro-area on Prevention, mainly regarding the creation of guidelines and policies. 

The students are asked to relate the content of the course to their own cultural reality and therefore learn to critically assess both. All successful graduates develop a comprehensive range of cognitive and practical skills, which allows them to solve the challenges they will encounter in their safeguarding activities and deal with them in creative ways. Aiming to prepare graduates for professional careers, this course fosters the growth of students’ abilities to effectively create change and implement safeguarding measures.

Applying for the Licentiate (Academic Year 2024-2025)

Candidates must receive approval from the IADC administration by completing the rolling admission process before being able to follow the PUG’s application procedures.

Applications Submission Period: Fall/Winter 2023

Once the selection of applications has been completed, the identified candidates will be invited to participate in an online interview between January and March 2024.

Interview dates will be announced at a later date.

We are currently reviewing our selection process. Further information and documentation might be required from you.

Step 1: Fill out the IADC Application Form and send both the form and required documents (see below) in one email to during the application period. Dates for submitting an application will be available soon.

Step 2: You will be contacted by us to schedule an online personal interview with the IADC Committee.

Step 3: You will receive notification of acceptance, or otherwise, thereafter.

Step 4: In the case you need to obtain a visa from your designated Italian embassy or consulate, write to For further information about the visa process, click here. Please note that our offices will be closed from 31 July to 25 August.

Step 5: Starting September 2024, you will need to complete the PUG’s registration process and payment process. This can be started online from your home but must be completed in person in Rome.

In Rome, the PUG’s International Students Office may be helpful.


The cost of tuition for academic year 2022/2023 is €3400.

Applicants who need financial aid may be eligible for scholarships.
Please contact us directly at for more information.