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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Short-cycle higher education


7.2.First-cycle programmes

7.2.2Short-cycle higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023


Branches of Study

Short-cycle programmes of study at the undergraduate level are offered by three public and twenty-five private, non-university level institutions in Cyprus. Each of the three public institutions comes under the remit of a ministry other than the Ministry of Education and Culture. Private institutions are registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Branches of study at the public institutes aim to offer high-level education and training and to produce high-calibre professionals in each respective field according to the needs of labour market in Cyprus, as follows:

• The Higher Hotel Institute offers a two-year diploma course in Hotel and Catering Operations (course offered in both Greek and English); and, a three-year higher diploma course in Culinary Arts (course offered in both Greek and English);

• The Cyprus Forestry College offers a three-year diploma course in Forestry aiming to provide theoretical and practical training at the technical level in the general principles of Forestry and Forestry Practice. The College also offers two courses for qualified overseas students - a six-month post diploma course leading to the award of the Higher Diploma in Forestry, and a short training course leading to the award of the Certificate in Forestry;

• The Cyprus Police Academy offers a three-year programme aiming to provide theoretical and practical training to police constables, leading to the award of a Diploma.

Non-university level private institutions of higher education offer short-cycle vocational and academic programmes, either at the Certificate level (one-year duration), the Diploma level (two-year duration) and the Higher Diploma level (three-year duration). Fields of study cover Secretarial Studies, Business Administration, Banking, Accountancy, Hotel Management, Computers and Engineering.

The programmes of study of the public institutions are approved by the Council of Ministers. The programmes of study of private institutes are accredited by the Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation – SEKAP.

Admission Requirements

As provided in the governing law for tertiary education (Law N. 67(I)/1996), the number of students in each public institution is determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the responsible Minister. A school-leaving certificate from a secondary school in Cyprus or an equivalent qualification from abroad is a prerequisite for admission. In addition, all institutions running three-year diploma courses allocate potential students on the basis of the results obtained at the Pancyprian Examinations.

Private institutions set their own criteria for admission. A school leaving certificate of secondary education or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite. 


Programmes of study of the public institutions are determined by the Council of Ministers based on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for the institution. Programmes of study of the private institutions are accredited by the Council for Educational Evaluation and Accreditation – SEKAP.


Teaching Methods

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials and practical training. Deciding on the teaching methods to be followed is the responsibility of the teacher.

Progression of Students

Progression of students is based on the relevant regulations of each institution. Students are promoted on the precondition that they have obtained at least the minimum pass mark (usually 50 %) in all prescribed evaluations and have attended at least a minimum required percentage of the programme (ranging from 75 % to 100 % in the different institutions). If a student fails an examination, he/she is required to resit it. The number of times that a student is permitted to resit an examination differs from one institution to the other. If a student fails all resits, he/she is not permitted to continue his/her studies.


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 counselling that are on offer, very often lead to the placement of graduates in appropriate positions in their field in the public or private sectors. 


Student Assessment

Every institution of higher education has an organised system of student assessment. Students are assessed internally by the teaching staff of the institution. Additional examinations set by external bodies are conducted only in the Cyprus Forestry College.

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 are set by all the institutions.


Certification is the responsibility of each institution of higher education. Upon successful completion of the programme of studies the institution awards its own diploma. According to Law 68(I)/1996, the diplomas awarded by the public institutions are recognised by KYSATS. The degrees of private institutions are not recognised unless they have been accredited by SEKAP. 

Organisational Variations

There are no unusual variations or alternative structures in short-cycle higher education.