Higher Education Institutions and Qualifications in Cyprus

Higher Education Institutions

Cyprus higher education sector comprises of universities and institutions of tertiary education. Universities in Cyprus offer study programmes at bachelor, master and doctorate level. 
In Cyprus, there are 4 types of higher education institutions:
  • Public universities
  • Private universities
  • Public institutions of tertiary education
  • Private institutions of tertiary education
There are institutions of tertiary education at university and non-university level. These higher education institutions and universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Public Universities

These universities are funded by the Cyprus government and are multi-faculty higher education institutions that are composed of several departments. These universities are independent and autonomous 
  • The University of Cyprus
  • Open University of Cyprus
  • Cyprus University of Technology 

Private Universities

The private universities in Cyprus are founded as per law 109 (I) of 2005. These universities are set up and funded by non-governmental institutions. 
Following are the private universities operating in Cyprus:
  • European University Cyprus
  • Frederick University Cyprus
  • University of Nicosia Cyprus
  • University of Cyprus (UCY)
  • Neapolis University Paphos (NUP)

Public Institutions of Tertiary Education

The Government of Cyprus manages the public institutions of tertiary education. These institutions are overseen by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Public Order, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, and Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. These institutions offer programmes in professional and technical fields to meet the demands of the labour market. Higher diploma is conferred to students who successfully complete the programme.
Following are the public institutions of tertiary education in Cyprus:
  • Cyprus Forestry College
  • Police Academy 
  • Higher hotel Institute of Cyprus
  • School for Tourist Guides
  • Mediterranean Institute of Management (MIM): This is the only public non-university level institution of tertiary education in Cyprus. This institution provides a 1-year postgraduate diploma in Public Administration and Business Administration.

Private Institutions of Tertiary Education

These institutions are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus. These institutions provide vocational and academic study programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The study levels are:
  • Certificate: The duration of this level is 1 year
  • Diploma: This level lasts for 2 years
  • Higher diploma: This level lasts for 3 years
  • Bachelor degree: This degree lasts for 4 years
  • Master degree: This degree lasts for 1 to 2 years
Fields of study: Social sciences, business studies, arts, hotel and tourism administration, computer science, engineering, graphic design, education, aesthetics, secretarial studies, and culinary.

Higher Education Qualifications

First Cycle Programme

First cycle programme comprises of short cycle and bachelor degree programmes.

Short Cycle Programme

Short-cycle study programmes are provided at the undergraduate level by 3 public and 5 private non-university level institutions of higher education. These programmes are as per the needs of the labour market, and provide practical as well as theoretical education and training.

Following are the short cycle programmes:
  • Certificate: The courses leading to certificate last for 1 year. 
  • Diploma: The duration of the diploma courses in 2 years.
  • Higher diploma: The duration of the courses leading to higher diploma is 3 years.
Fields of study: Engineering, secretarial studies, hotel management, computers, business administration, accountancy and banking.

Bachelor’s Degree

The bachelor’s degree programmes are provided by public as well private universities. A few of the private non-university level institutions of higher education also provide bachelor study programmes. 
  • Duration: 4 years (for medicine- 6 years)
  • Semesters: 8 (for medicine field- 12 semesters)
  • ECTS: 240 credits
  • Certificate awarded: Ptychio
This degree programme comprises of taught courses and lab work. 

Fields of study: Medicine, social sciences, management, fine and applied arts, health sciences, humanities, technological sciences, engineering and technology, pure and applied sciences, geotechnical sciences, economics, environmental management, education, law, and social science. 

Postgraduate Studies

Postgraduate studies comprise of master and doctorate degree programmes.

Master’s Degree

Public as well as private universities and non-university level private institutions of higher education provide master’s degree programmes.

Students must hold a bachelor’s degree in order to take admission into the Master degree programme. This degree programme requires completion of courses and a thesis. Students are required to defend their thesis in an oral examination. Students can study master degree programme either on a full-time basis or part-time. 
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • Semesters: 3-4
  • ECTS: 90-120 credits
  • Certificate awarded: MA or MSc

Doctorate/PhD Studies

Students must hold a master’s degree in order to take admission into the doctorate programme. Students are required to defend and submit a thesis in order to complete their doctoral studies. The doctorate programmes consist of taught and thesis part.
  • Duration: 3 years
  • ECTS: 240 credit points (120 are of research)
Branch of study: Management and economics, health sciences, humanities, education, pure and applied sciences, engineering, social science, environment and law.
Certificate awarded: Doctoral title
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