Branches of study
Second cycle (Master) programmes are offered by public and private universities as well as non-university level private institutions of higher education. Master (MA and MSc) programmes can be offered by a university/institution department individually, by two or more departments or in cooperation with other universities/institutions. Students can study either full-time or part-time. A full-time student is one who attends a minimum of 21 ECTS per semester (1 credit unit corresponding to 25-30 working hours of the course per semester). Requirements for completion of a Master degree usually include:
• Full-time attendance for a minimum of three semesters (maximum duration of attendance set at eight semesters);
• Successful completion of 90-120 ECTS in taught lessons;
• In case that the programme requires a dissertation, the number of ECTS allocated to its completion should not exceed ½ of the total number of ECTS required for the whole programme.
Master programs are offered in all study fields covered by Bachelor programs, as they were detailed in section 7.2: First Cycle Programmes.
All three public universities follow a policy of restricted numbers of admission, which are set annually by the Council of the university and are approved by the Council of Ministers upon recommendation of the Minister of Education. A university-level education is a prerequisite for admission to the Master level of education. Additional criteria are set by the public universities, such as academic ranking, letters of recommendation, personal interview at the discretion of each Department and possible additional criteria that a Department may adopt. Admission criteria set by the Open University of Cyprus also include years elapsed since obtaining a first degree and working experience relevant to the course. Selection of students is made by the institutions themselves.
Postgraduate studies at the university level are subject to the Postgraduate Studies Regulations of each university. The postgraduate programs of each Department are supervised by a three-member Postgraduate Programmes Committee appointed by the Departmental Board for a two-year term. The department appoints an Academic Supervisor for every student in the Postgraduate Programme, who will offer guidance to the student throughout the program of study. In case that the program of studies requires the writing of a dissertation, a Research Counselor is assigned to every student.
See 7.2: First Cycle Programmes
Progression of students
During his/her studies, the student’s average grade must be at least 5, the maximum grade is 10. If in a semester, the student’s average grade is lower than 5, the student is placed on probation. If in the following semester the student’s average grade remains below 5, the student’s case is discussed by the Departmental Board and the possibility of expulsion from the Postgraduate Programme is raised.
In the case of failure in a postgraduate course, a Master's degree student is allowed to repeat it once. A second failure in the same course results in the expulsion of the student from the Postgraduate Programme. If a dissertation is rejected, the student is allowed to resubmit it once.
Careers Offices operating in higher education institutions provide information on employment and career prospects. Although no official responsibility is taken by the institutions for the employment of their graduates, the guidance and counseling that are on offer very often lead to the placement of graduates in appropriate positions in their field in the public or private sectors.
An organized system for student assessment is provided by the internal regulations of each institution. Students are assessed internally by the teaching staff of the institution. Student evaluation is the exclusive right of the individual teacher. Assessment methods include written and/or oral examinations at the mid-term or the end of a semester, continuous assessment focused on the student’s active participation, laboratory exercises, written or practical assignments, projects, and dissertations. Written examinations at the end of a semester are set in all cases. The minimum pass mark is usually set at 50%, e.g. 5 on a scale 0-10. In a Master’s program, some courses (not exceeding 25% of the taught part) may be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Master dissertations are qualitatively evaluated as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Failed.
Certification is the responsibility of each institution of higher education. Upon successful completion of the program of studies, the institution awards the Master's degree. The award of a Master’s degree at the university level is subject to the approval of the Board of the Department. The degrees of public institutions are recognised by KYSATS. The degrees of private institutions are not recognised unless the relevant programmes of studies have been accredited by SEKAP.