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Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition




Types of higher education institutions:

Universitą (University)




School leaving and higher education credentials:

Secondary Education Certificate

Matriculation Certificate

Bachelor's Degree

Postgraduate Diploma

Master's Degree

Doctor's Degree




Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 5

Age of exit: 16

Structure of school system:


Type of school providing this education: Primary School

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 5 to: 11

Lower Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Junior Lyceum/Secondary School

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 11 to: 16

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Higher Secondary School

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 16 to: 18

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Colleges/Institutes

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 16 to: 20

School education:

Primary education lasts for six years. There are different types of secondary education schools: junior lyceums, area secondary schools, schools for very low achievers, church and independent (private) schools. Studies last for five years divided into a two-year orientation cycle and a three-year cycle of specialization in lyceum and three-year orientation and two-year specialization in area secondary schools. Admission to state junior lyceums and some church schools is through an entrance examination. At the end of this cycle, pupils sit for the Secondary Education Certificate. Higher secondary schools (sixth forms) prepare pupils for the Matriculation Certificate which gives access to university.

Higher education:

Higher education in Malta is regulated by the Education Act of 1998 and subsequent amendments. Tertiary education is mainly provided by the University of Malta. But higher education is in the process of becoming a binary system following the foundation of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) which is aiming at providing ISCED 5 courses.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Education Act Year: 1998

Concerns: All education levels

Academic year:

Classes from: Oct to: Jun

Long vacation from: 15 Jul to: 30 Sep

Languages of instruction: English, Maltese

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) is the foremost provider of vocational education in Malta. It incorporates nine institutes in the areas of Engineering, Business and Commerce, Maritime studies, Building and Construction, Community Services, Information and Communication Technology, Art and Design and Agribusiness. It currently (2006) offers Certificate, Diploma and Advanced diploma courses on a full-time basis or as part of an Apprenticeship Programme in collaboration with the Employment and Training Corporation. Candidates on an apprenticeship programme may sit for and obtain the Journeyman's Certificate which give access to employement and higher levels of specialisation. The Institute of Tourism Studies aims to provide vocational education and training in the field of Hospitality and Tourism.


University level studies:

University level first stage: Bachelor's degree:

The Bachelor's Degree is obtained in three to five years depending on the field of study.

University level second stage: Master's degree/Postgraduate diploma:

The second stage leads to the award of a Master's Degree or a Postgraduate diploma after a period of one or two years of study.

University level third stage: Doctor's degree:

The third stage leads, after at least three years of study following the award of a Master's Degree, to the Doctor's Degree. Candidates are required to submit a thesis after a period of research on an approved topic.


Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Primary and secondary school teachers are trained at the Faculty of Education of the University of Malta. After a four-year course, they obtain a Bachelor of Education Degree. Applicants are required to choose between primary or secondary education as their area of specialisation when registering for the course. The University of Malta also offers post-graduate courses for students who wish to become teachers after a first degree.

Training of secondary school teachers

Same as above.

Training of higher education teachers

Pre-university level teachers must hold Bachelor's or Master's degrees in various fields of specialisation. Lecturers must hold a degree at Doctoral level. Assistant lecturers must be in possession of a Master's Degree.


Non-traditional studies:

Lifelong higher education

The Department for Further Studies and Adult Education provides vocational, academic and leisure adult education. There are also a number of other organizations, some of them privately run, providing Adult Education, the most important of which is the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC), designed to provide training and retraining to persons already employed or registering for employment. The University's Faculty of Education offers a Diploma course in Adult Training and Development.

Other forms of non-formal higher education

The Faculty of Education organizes evening courses which are of particular relevance to the teaching staff: it confers a Diploma in Educational Administration and Management, a Diploma in School Counselling and a Diploma in Facilitating Inclusive Education, as well as a Diploma in Social Studies (Occupational Guidance and Career Counselling). There is also a University of the Third Age.


Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Minister of Education, Employment and the Family  - The Hon. Dolores Cristina

Permanent Secretary – Dr James Calleja

Address: Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family
Palazzo Ferreria
310, Republic Street, Valletta - VLT 2000.

Tel: 2590 3100 

Fax: 2590 3121




Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Secondary Education Certificate

Alternatives to credentials:

School Leaving Certificate for Vocational courses (Hairdressing, Agriculture). General Certificate of Education at Ordinary Level or, for courses leading to higher academic qualifications, Matriculation Certificate or Higher Technician Diploma.

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Matriculation Certificate

Minimum score/requirement: C

For entry to: All programmes except Medicine and Surgery

Alternatives to credentials: Alternative qualifications are considered if comparable. In the case of students over 23, applicants are interviewed and assessed by the Faculty concerned.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: A foreign student is a student who does not hold Maltese citizenship.

Quotas: In the case of Medical courses, thirty places are reserved for foreign applicants.

Admission requirements: Foreign students must have qualifications equivalent to the Matriculation Certificate, such as the General Certificate of Education at Advanced (A) levels, the International Baccalaureate and the American Advanced Placement System.

Entry regulations: Foreign students must have an entry permit and financial guarantees if they are staying for more than three months.

Language requirements: A good knowledge of English is essential. The University provides a Foundation Studies course and a Pre-Sessional Language course prior to entry to a regular course of study.

Application procedures:

Apply to individual institution for entry to: All full-time courses of the University of Malta.

Apply to:

International Office, University of Malta

Msida MSD 06

Tel: +356(23) 402224-5

Fax: +356(21) 316941




Application closing dates:

For university level studies: 30 Jun

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Articles 28(j) and 35(e) of the Education Act empower the University of Malta to evaluate degrees and academic distinctions.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):



Tower Promenade,



Tel: 356 2754 0051

Fax: 356 2180 8758



Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: Provides information on the equivalence of foreign qualifications for local use; helps foreign students enrol in local schools; provides contacts and other information to local students seeking to study overseas, as available.


Special provisions for recognition:

For access to non-university post-secondary studies: Professional qualifications may also need to be evaluated by the Professional Body empowered to issue the relative warrant.

For access to university level studies: Nationals and foreigners are given the same treatment.

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the Arab and European States bordering on the Mediterranean

Year of signature: 1976

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Europe

Year of signature: 1979

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Entry Requirements to Degree Courses

Publisher: University of Malta

Title: University of Malta Prospectus

Author: Communications Office

Publisher: P.E.G. Ltd, Malta

Title: Website information at

Title: Your Guide to the University of Malta

Author: International Office

Publisher: P.E.G. Ltd Malta



Main student services at national level

Director (Student Services)

Mr George Borg

Directorate for Educational Services (DES)

Student Services Department

Fra G Pace Forno Str,

Hamrun HMR 1100

Tel: 21 228 349

Fax: 21 233 513



Category of services provided: Academic and career counselling services; Special services/Centre for foreign students


National student associations and unions

Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU)/ University of Malta Students' Council

Student's House, University of Malta Campus

Tel: +356(21) 343085

Fax: +356(21) 337517




Health/social provisions

Social security for home students: Yes

Social security for foreign students: Yes

Foreign student social security provisions: Health coverage is free at government health centres and state hospitals.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By air: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Type of financial aid available:


Higher vocational/technical studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: No

First Degree studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: No

Advanced/doctoral studies:

Home: No

Foreign: No



Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

Communication Office, University of Malta

Head: Leslie N. Agius, Director

Msida MSD 06

Tel: +356(23) 402828

Fax: +356(21) 336450



Director (Student Services)

Mr George Borg

Directorate for Educational Services (DES)

Student Services Department

Fra G Pace Forno Str,

Hamrun HMR 1100

Tel: 21 228 349

Fax: 21 233 513



Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: ERASMUS



Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: Matriculation examination: A-E (pass) Un-Unclassified.

Highest on scale: A

Pass/fail level: E

Lowest on scale: Un

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: General Degrees: first division, second division (upper), second division (lower), third division/pass.

Highest on scale: First Class

Lowest on scale: Pass





Data for academic year: 2011-2012

Source: Minister of Education, Employment and the Family  2011

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