Education in Malta

Malta Expats | Education in Malta

Malta is known for being the world’s smallest archipelago, but it holds a strong reputation in terms of quality education.

Sacra_Infermeria_hospital_medical_school_MaltaIndeed, Malta has been attracting many foreign students over the years thanks to the level of its higher education system. Indeed, 54% of local students are able to land their first permanent contract on completing their higher studies. So if you have already obtained your baccalaureate, why not set out for a new adventure in this historically rich country where you can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and a peaceful environment along with your studies?

Pre-school / kindergarten

Children in Malta attend kindergartens from 3-4 years old completely free of charge. During this period learning is informal, through a lot of games and playing as well as through interaction with other children.

Primary school

At 5 years old the child becomes a student and starts Primary School which last for 6 years, until they are 10 years old. Attendance at Primary School is compulsory for all children and there is a school roughly in each town. Until 2010 streaming was practiced during the last two years of Primary School to determine which school the students would move on to after primary school, however this is no longer practised for more inclusion. In Malta the goal is to place students with special needs in mainstream schools, however specialized schools are available too.

Secondary school

After primary school students move on to start secondary school which last for 5 years, from 11-16 years of age. These are larger schools where students from several primary schools join together.

When completing secondary school, compulsory education is over, however students can opt to sit for their O-levels on their own which will help them get into high school and higher education. There are 5 compulsory O-levels to pass, English, Maltese, Maths, a science subject and a foreign Language. There many more O-levels to choose from and students can sit for as many as they like as long as they do the compulsory ones. People of all ages can sit for the O-levels. Approximately 60% of Maltese students continue education after completing compulsory studies.

High School / Post Secondary Education

Malta Expats | Education in Malta As students turn 16 years old they can opt to go to Sixth Form which lasts for two years until they are 18 years of age. Which school they go to depend on how well they did in their O-level exams and there are three schools to choose from, MCAST (skills school),Junior College and Higher Secondary School which is for the students who did less well in their O-levels. At High School the students study different topics and are being prepared to sit for their A-levels which is needed to get into University.

Higher education system

Malta Expats | Education in Malta Malta has a single university, that is the University of Malta. Regardless of what you might be expecting, this university hosts around 11,000 new students every year, including some 650 foreign students coming from 77 different countries. The university provides both full-time and part-time courses. The country also hosts several private schools and specialized colleges from which you can choose according to your field of studies.

The University of Malta consists of 13 faculties, namely arts, law, management-economy and accounts, education, theology, architecture and construction, engineering, information and communication technology, dental surgery, medicine, health sciences, media and knowledge sciences and sciences. It also hosts the branches of the British Italian Institute, the International Institute of Baroque Studies and the International Environmental Institute.

Besides 1 to 2 years study programs which will allow you obtain a certificate or diploma, you can also register for the following courses:

  • a bachelor (3 to 5 years of studies depending on the program chosen)
  • a masters (1 to 2 additional years of study)
  • a PhD (a longer course which will involve the presentation of a thesis)

Education in Malta

Malta Expats | Education in Malta Going to study in Malta requires appropriate planning although procedures are rather simple for European Union nationals. For instance, European Union nationals do not need a visa to travel to Malta. They can simply produce a valid passport. However, they must request for a resident permit if they intend to make a more than three months stay in Malta, which will probably be the case if you will be studying there.

To apply for this document which is valid for 5 years, you have to produce the following:

  • a university application letter
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Malta
  • health insurance
  • a duly filled and signed resident permit application form

Different conditions apply to non-European Union nationals according to their home country and agreements between their country and Malta regarding the circulation of students if any. You are therefore advised to inquire directly with the University of Malta before proceeding.


Remember that the University of Malta is open to foreigners holding a baccalaureate or its equivalent. Before registering, you can seek information via the following:
International & EU Office
University of Malta
Msida MSD 2080
International Admissions Office
University of Malta
Mside MSD2080
Tel: 356 2340 2225


Besides traveling and accommodation fees, university fees vary according to the courses and the length of the program. These generally start as from 250 euros per year and can reach up to 1,200 euros.

Useful links:

Expat Blog – Study in Malta Forum
Government of Malta – University of Malta
University of Malta – Prospective students
University of Malta – FAQ
University of Malta – Application for a resident permit
Government of Malta – Education Department – List of higher education institutions