Is having a formal academic qualification required for moderation?
Not really. All you need is enough knowledge to be informed of the subject at hand, as well as abilities and skills in moderation - being formally qualified doesn't provide you with these skills. Having a formal academic degree doesn't make you a good or bad moderator.
The issue I have with your question is that you make it sound like having a formal qualification is essential for moderatorship. It is not. And by making it a requirement, or having it loom over the heads of every candidate if we say, had an election, it would prove to be very dangerous, since you would be almost disqualifying a candidate who make be knowledgeable about the subject, and have impressive moderator qualities.
For what it's worth, I'm a moderator on Open Source. I don't have any formal computer science or legal background - heck, I don't even have my secondary school diploma yet. It doesn't make me a good or bad moderator, and I do know a good chunk about the subject.