Repubblika ta' Malta (The Republic of Malta) is an archipelago of 7 islands located in the southern Mediterranean Sea south of the island of Sicily and north of Libya. The 2 main islands are Gozo and Malta. The population is 403,532 and the literacy rate is 92.8%. English and Maltese are the official languages.
Malta was first settled in 5200 BC by farmers who arrived from the island of Sicily. By 400 BC, the islands were under the control of the Carthaginians, and, by 117 BC, Malta was part of the Roman Empire. In 909 AD, Arabs arrived and introduced irrigation, new fruits, cotton and the language that would eventually become Maltese. Malta was a part of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Crown of Aragon until it was captured by Napoleon in 1798. In 1800, Malta became a British Dominion and, as a result of the 1814 Treaty of Paris, became part of the British Empire. Malta was granted independence on September 21, 1964.
Education in Malta is free and compulsory from ages 5 to 16. English and Maltese are used equally as the language of instruction at the primary and secondary school levels. English is the language of instruction at the University of Malta. Currently, education in Malta is overseen by their Ministeru tal-Edukazzjoni u x-Xogħol.
Primary and Secondary Education
Primary school is 6 years beginning at age 5. At the end of year six, students sit for the Common Entrance Examination which determines their secondary school placement. Secondary school is 5 years and at the end of the 5th year, students sit for an external examination leading to the Secondary Education Certificate.
Following completion of secondary school, students have the option of continuing in a 2-year upper secondary school program leading to the Matriculation Certificate or enrolling in a program at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) consists of 10 institutes that offer 1 to 2-year vocational and technical programs in agriculture, business, art and design, engineering, information and communication technology, and cosmetology. Admission to MCAST requires a Secondary Education Certificate.
The University of Malta was established in 1771. Admission requires a Matriculation Certificate and some programs also require an entrance examination. Undergraduate courses at the University of Malta have 5 credit levels (0-4). Lower-level undergraduate programs include the 1-year University Certificate, and the 2 to 3-year (60-90 European Credit Transfer System/ECTS) University Diploma and the University Higher Diploma. The University Diploma requires no more than 10 Level 0 and no less than 56 Level 1 credits. The University Higher Diploma requires no more than 10 Level 1 and no less than 56 Level 2 credits.
The Bachelor is 3 years of study and requires 180 ECTS credits including no more than 4 at Level 0, 56-68 credits at Level 1, and at least 108 credits equally divided between Levels 2 and 3.
The Bachelor (Honours) is 3 years of study and requires 180 ECTS credits including no more than 4 at Level 0, between 56-68 credits at Level 1, and at least 108 credits and at least 108 credits equally divided between Levels 2 and 3. Of these 108 credits, at least 56 credits must be honours courses at Level 3.
Second and Third Cycles
Level 4 courses are reserved for professional programs (law, medicine, etc.)
Graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Philosophy are 1.5 to 3 years and require defense of a thesis. Doctoral programs require at least 3 years and no more than 5 years of research. Upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Teachers at the primary, lower secondary and upper secondary levels must hold a Bachelor of Education or a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the University of Malta.