Education System in Malta and Study Requirements

The Education System in Malta and Study Requirements

Malta is a small island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a vibrant and diverse culture, which is reflected in its education system. The Maltese education system is a mix of several European education systems, reflecting the country’s rich history and culture. Education is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. The country has made significant progress in improving its education system over the years, making it one of the top performers in Europe. This article provides an overview of the education system in Malta and study requirements.

Primary Education

Primary education in Malta is compulsory and starts at the age of five. It lasts for six years and is divided into two cycles, the first cycle (Years 1-3) and second cycle (Years 4-6). During this time, children learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as subjects like Maltese language, English, social studies, religion, music, and art.

Secondary Education

After completing primary education, students have the option of continuing to secondary education, which is also compulsory. Secondary education in Malta lasts for six years and is divided into two cycles, the first cycle (Years 7-9) and second cycle (Years 10-11). During this time, students are offered a wide variety of subjects, including science, mathematics, Maltese and English languages, humanities, social studies, religious studies, and creative subjects like arts and music.

At the end of the six years of secondary education, students take the Matriculation Exam, which determines their eligibility to progress to tertiary education.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in Malta is provided by universities, higher education institutions, and vocational institutions. Malta has two universities, the University of Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology. The University of Malta is the largest educational institution in the country and offers a wide range of courses, including engineering, medicine, law, humanities, commerce, and science.

To gain entry to tertiary education, students must have successfully completed their secondary education and achieved the required grades in the Matriculation Exam. In some cases, students may also be required to sit for additional entrance exams or interviews.

Study Requirements

The study requirements for admission to tertiary education in Malta vary depending on the course and institution. However, students generally need to have completed secondary school education and achieved a certain grade point average or score in the Matriculation Exam.

International students need to have their qualifications evaluated by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) to determine their eligibility for admission. They also need to provide proof of English proficiency, either by passing an appropriate English language test like IELTS or TOEFL, or by holding a previous qualification taught in English.


1. Is education free in Malta?

Education is free up to the age of 16 in Malta. However, students may need to pay for books, uniforms, and other supplies.

2. Are there scholarships available for international students in Malta?

Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in Malta. These scholarships are offered by different institutions and organizations and may cover tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses.

3. Can international students work while studying in Malta?

Yes, international students can work part-time while studying in Malta. However, they need to obtain a work permit, which is usually granted for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation periods.

4. Is Malta a safe country for international students?

Yes, Malta is a safe and peaceful country for international students. The crime rate is low, and the country has a welcoming and friendly environment.


Malta’s education system offers students a range of options for their academic and career development. The country’s commitment to education has helped it build a reputation for academic excellence and innovation. Whether students are looking to pursue higher education or vocational training, Malta has a wide variety of institutions and courses to choose from. With its welcoming environment, stunning scenery, and vibrant culture, studying in Malta is an experience that international students are sure to cherish for a lifetime.