Cyprus is increasingly popular among international students thanks to its well-respected education system, reasonable tuition fees and year-round sunshine
The Mediterranean's third-largest island spends around 7% of its GDP on education, making it one of the top three education spenders in the world, only falling behind Denmark and Sweden.
The cost of study is low in comparison to other fashionable European study destinations and crime almost non-existent. You'll also have the chance to pick up a second language, either Greek or Turkish depending on where you study. However, English is widely spoken.
Furthermore the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate and boasts sandy beaches, lush forests and ancient ruins making it an idyllic destination to further your education and broaden your cultural horizons.
The higher education sector houses a mix of public and private institutions as well as a number of private tertiary-level colleges.
Universities offer both undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral programmes similar to those in the UK.
There are three public universities:
- Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)
- Open University of Cyprus (OUC)
- University of Cyprus (UCY).
Five institutions make up the private higher education sector:
- European University Cyprus (EUC)
- Frederick University
- Neapolis University Paphos (NUP)
- University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Cyprus
- University of Nicosia.
Universities found in northern Cyprus operate under the separate law of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Your UK university may have a formal Erasmus+ partnership with a Cypriot institution. Erasmus+ offers study, training, work experience and voluntary placements. Opportunities are supported by funding and last from three months to one year. Speak to your university's Erasmus+ coordinator for more information on how to apply.
It may also be possible to study for a semester in the country through Global Semesters - Cyprus Study Abroad.
Bachelors courses are taught at both public and private institutions, and typically take four years to complete. Available programmes cover a range of subjects including humanities, science, engineering and technology, business, mathematics, medicine, law and social science.
To be admitted onto an undergraduate course, you'll need a school leavers certificate and to sit a centrally-administered admissions exam. You'll learn through a series of lectures, seminars, and group and project work.
Bachelors degrees are available in English, but if this isn't your native language you will need to prove your proficiency.
Postgraduate qualifications in Cyprus are equivalent to their UK counterparts. Courses usually take one or two years to complete, and can be studied both full and part time.
Entrants must have previously studied a relevant Bachelors degree in order to be admitted onto a programme. You may also have to complete a postgraduate interview.
The academic year is split into two semesters and runs from September to May in public universities. Mid-term exams are taken in October and March, with final exams taken at the end of each semester. Instruction at private universities is between October and June.
Applicants require a Masters degree in a related subject. Doctorates are much more common in the public universities, usually last for three years, and include a taught component and a dissertation. The main areas of study include:
- economics and management
- health science
- pure and applied science
- social science and education.
Tuition fees are determined by the individual institutions, so you'll need to contact your chosen university to get an accurate figure of what you'll need to pay. Degree costs vary depending on what and where you study.
Masters tuition fees are generally lower than in the UK, with public institutions often cheaper than their private counterparts.
As a general guide, Masters students should expect to pay between €5,000 and €10,000 per year in tuition fees. MBAs and Doctoral degrees are more expensive. Non-EU students are likely to pay more than those from the European Union (EU).
Funding to study in Cyprus
Government-funded scholarships, usually covering 10% to 20% of fees, are available for international postgraduates who've displayed outstanding academic performance.
Some institutions, such as UCLan Cyprus, provide bursaries for international postgraduates amounting to €2,300 per year, which is deducted from the total cost of tuition.
Other universities, such as the University of Cyprus, subsidise foreign postgraduate students through assistantships. This involves helping with teaching, grading and lab supervision.
How to apply
Applications are usually made directly to the institution via post, with forms downloadable from the official website. However, each institution sets its own admission requirements so you'll need to check with your university's admissions office to find out specific details.
Be prepared to apply one year in advance. Some programmes require you to attend an entrance exam or pre-entry interview. You'll also need to pay an application fee.
You must usually present your passport, birth certificate, academic certificates and references alongside your application form. You must also prove that you can support yourself financially and pay tuition fees up front. Documents may be required in English.
Private universities teach in English, while every public university offers courses taught in English.
Universities require proof of English competency before enrolment. There's no official language testing system, so consider the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Students without adequate skills may be granted one month's free intensive tuition.
Institutions may also require overseas students to have a good knowledge of Greek.
EU students don't need a visa to study in Cyprus. Upon arrival in the country, you must submit the following materials to the admissions office of your chosen institution:
- a completed application form
- an application fee
- four passport photographs
- copies of your academic certificates
- evidence of your proficiency in English
- a photocopy of your passport
- a recent certificate of good conduct from the police force in your country of origin.
Additional to the above, EU students must apply for a temporary residence permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
Non-EU students will require a visa to study in the country. These are only issued to full-time students taking at least 12 credits per semester. Apply to your country's Cypriot embassy two to three months before the course starts. You'll need to attend a visa interview where you must submit documentation including evidence of a medical check-up, and letters of financial support and good conduct.
Non-EU students must also register with the District Police Alien Branch within seven days of arrival in Cyprus.
For more information on Cypriot student visa requirements, see CyprusVisa.eu.
Comparison to UK qualifications
Due to the Bologna Process university qualifications gained in Cyprus are directly comparable to their UK counterparts therefore employers shouldn't have any trouble recognising them.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to work in Cyprus.