English Language Courses Available for Cyprus Students: A Guide
Cyprus is an island that prides itself on the level of its residents that are bilingual, as both English and Greek are taught as a standard in public primary schools and High schools.
This article can be used as general a guide to the different options available to both young and mature students in Cyprus looking at their options to further their education in the English language.
There are three main English language courses available for students after 16 years of age; each have different advantages. We will look at each one in more depth:
IELTS Academic module (International English Language Testing System) is designed for students looking to study in English to a variety of levels including higher education institutions, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The IELTS General Training module is a popular choice for EU citizens like Cyprus wishing to study at pre-graduate level within a shorter period time in order to migrate to an English-speaking country such as the US, UK or Australia.
IELTS is a well-respected language qualification recognised internationally by 10,000 organisations*. In Cyprus, ILETS is a popular choice, sat by thousands of candidates every year. Students have the option to choose two different modules and are tested in four main skill sets:
Skills are graded using a band score scale approach, according to which 9 is the highest level and denotes an expert speaker.
The IELTS qualification is valid for two years so it is important that candidates take the examination close to the date of when they are going to provide it.
IELTS Academic or General training test in Cyprus: EUR €204.
*Please note that the ILETS qualification is not universally accepted by countries immigration authorities as a standard English level. Please check each countries requirement before taking an exam for immigration purposes.
2. IGCSEs (International GCSEs)
The IGCSEs (or International GCSEs) are recognised by all higher institutions in the UK and so makes it a very popular English language qualification in Cyprus. An IGCSE in English is also widely recognised in the academic and business world; applicants wanting to work in the civil service and on the English-speaking sovereign bases should sit an IGCSE in English as this is the required qualification for Greek speaking residents in Cyprus.
The qualification does not expire**, and candidates receiving a C grade or above confirm an English language competency level corresponding to B2 (intermediate) on The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
One GCSE or IGCSE GDP £295 (£59 deposit to be payable upon booking).
Two GCSEs or IGCSEs GDP £570 (£114 deposit)
**Please note that candidates applying to UK universities via UCAS must ensure that their certificate is no older than 5 years. Any longer and the qualification will be deemed as invalid.
3. A levels & International A levels
Apart from the English language examinations, students who wish to study abroad may also consider taking additional A levels or International A levels in subjects to prepare them for their subject in English.
A levels or International A levels are equally recognised and can provide a competitive advantage to students hoping to receive an offer from a UK university. A levels and International A levels also prepare students for their first year of study by covering the curriculum needed for the specific subject. In Cyprus, the most popular A level and International A level exam is Mathematics and requires approximately two years of preparation to successfully pass.
Each course has material for 2 years of study and costs approximately GDP £1,000 per subject, per course however different institutions and schools have varying fees.
The Cyprus British Council
For Cypriots looking to further their English language skills, more information can be found at the British Council in Cyprus where a wide range of exams and courses can be applied for. Cyprus students can learn more about which English tests will be most valuable to them; different schooling options and other business qualifications, accepted predominantly around the world.
Read more about the higher-education systems in Cyprus.