Ancient ruins, superb beaches and a vibrant nightlife make Cyprus an idyllic destination for international students
Around 8,000 foreign nationals flock to the Mediterranean's third-largest island every year, attracted by a climate and culture that perfectly complements the excellent academic system.
The student population is diverse, the cost of living reasonable and the crime rate low. So, if you're interested in 300 days of annual sunshine and a challenging postgraduate education, read on…
Postgraduate qualifications in Cyprus are equivalent to their UK counterparts, with the quality of infrastructure just as impressive. Masters degrees usually take one or two years to complete, and entrants must have a Bachelors. MBA and Doctorate degrees are also available. Popular subject areas include:
- business, banking and finance;
- communications and marketing;
- construction and engineering;
- law and international relations;
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.
Cyprus has three public universities and five private universities, each offering both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The public universities are:
- Cyprus University of Technology (CUT);
- Open University of Cyprus (OUC);
- University of Cyprus (UCY).
The private universities are:
- European University Cyprus (EUC);
- Frederick University;
- Neapolis University Paphos (NUP);
- University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Cyprus;
- University of Nicosia.
Several private tertiary-level colleges also exist. Universities found in northern Cyprus operate under the separate law of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Masters tuition fees are generally lower than in the UK, with public institutions often cheaper than their private counterparts.
The University of Cyprus, for example, charges European Union (EU) students €200 (£145) per credit. Full-time students usually register for ten courses per academic year, which equates to 30 credits. This means that annual fees are usually around €6,000 (£4,350).
Private institutions typically charge €7,500 (£5,400) to €15,000 (£10,800) per year. Non-EU students may be charged considerably more.
Funding to study in Cyprus
Government-funded scholarships, usually covering 10%-20% of fees, are available for international postgraduates who've displayed outstanding academic performance. Some institutions, such the University of Cyprus and UCLan Cyprus, offer full- and half-scholarships. However, factors such as subject, work experience and academic achievement are considered. Some universities also offer 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. Be prepared to pay an application fee and look to apply one year in advance. Some programmes may require you to attend an entrance exam or pre-entry interview.
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 tuition fees are paid 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, providing you're enrolled on a course lasting over three months at an approved institution. However, you must apply for a residence permit from the Civil Registry and Migration Department. You can collect this upon arrival. You must also have medical examinations on the first working day after your arrival in Cyprus, and register with the District Police Alien Branch within one week.
Non-EU students need a visa. These are issued to full-time students taking at least 12 credits per semester and cost €34.17 (£24.37) every year. Apply to your country's Cypriot embassy two to three months before the course starts. You must submit documentation including evidence of a medical check-up, and letters of financial support and good conduct.
Cypriot exchanges and placements
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.
Read more about exchanges and placements at Global Semesters - Cyprus Study Abroad.
PhD applicants require a Masters qualification 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 sciences;
- pure and applied sciences;
- social science and education.
More information on finding a PhD course or a supervisor can be found at EuroEducation.net - Cyprus Higher Education System.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to work in Cyprus.