Master of Science in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies


Program Description

Course information

  • Course title:
    • Master of Science in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (Business and Finance)
    • Master of Science in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (Business and Finance)
    • Master of Science in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (Information and Communication Technology)
  • Course code:
    • Business and Finance: PMSCBKDBFNFTT9
    • Law and Regulation: PMSCBKDLWRFTT9
    • Information and Communication Technology: PMSCBKDICTFTT9
  • Postnominal: M.Sc. (Melit.)
  • Level of qualification: Second Cycle
  • National Qualifications Framework level: Level 7
  • Duration: 3 Semesters
  • Mode of attendance: Full-time
  • Total ECTS credits: 90
  • Coordinator: Joshua Ellul
  • Delivered by: Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies

Course overview

This programme of study is also offered on a part-time basis. Please consult the Registrar’s website for more information pertaining to courses offered by the University.

The multi-disciplinary Master of Science in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies aims to attract students having an undergraduate first degree in ICT, Business or Law. The programme provides for an introduction to the various Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) disciplines to all students coming from the different streams, and provides advanced units to students within their specific stream.

Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) have the potential to change many applications and services. The field poses new academic and educational challenges due to the multi-disciplinary nature which includes ICT, Business and Law at its core. The underlying technology is required to provide decentralisation mechanisms and computational execution engines built on sound computer science and ICT principles. The provision of smart contracts is blurring the lines between real-world legal contracts and automated execution of legal obligations. Programmers will require knowledge of regulatory and legal frameworks within which smart contracts are being proposed, and similarly, lawyers would be required to understand obligations laid out within smart contracts. With the advent of cryptocurrencies, built on Blockchain and DLTs, new financial and business models are being proposed - whereby finance and business professionals are requiring an appreciation of the underlying technical implementations and algorithms and surrounding legal frameworks. Software developers writing smart contracts and financial systems also require an understanding of the financial and business models which they are translating into code.

The programme provides both an interdisciplinary view of Blockchain and DLT, as well as specialisations within either an ICT, Law or Business area. The programme consists of three main components: (i) multi-disciplinary introductory units; (ii) advanced specialisation units; and (iii) a research project.

Depending upon the individual study-units, delivery will include intensive weeks, weekly or bi-weekly lectures as required.

Admission and progression requirements

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a Bachelor degree from this University with at least Second Class (Honours) or Category II in the areas of Business, Economics, Finance, Law, Management, Information Technology, or in any other area which the Board deems appropriate.

Applicants in possession of a Bachelor degree from this University with Third Class Honours or Category III in the disciplines highlighted above may apply if they are also in possession of other qualifications or have at least five years of relevant work experience, obtained following the first cycle degree. The admission of applicants under this paragraph may be made conditional on the results of an assessment as the Board may deem appropriate.

Eligible applicants may register as visiting students for individual study-units and obtain credit for them. Should they be accepted to join the Course within seven years from following the first study-unit, the Board may allow the transfer of these credits to the student’s academic record for the Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2019.

Info for applicants with international qualifications

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

The International Office at UM provides information about admission, English language requirements, and comparability of qualifications. Dedicated personnel assist international students with visas, health tests, accommodation and other related issues.

Fees and funding

  • Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: €10,000
  • Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: TBA

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, the student will be able to:

  • describe the multi-disciplinary area and how the various areas complement and integrate together;
  • compare, contrast and analyse academic material in relation to their chosen specialisation;
  • present an in-depth description of their specialisation with particular emphasis on the subject matter pertaining to their advanced elective units;
  • demonstrate acquired expertise, the rationale behind a hypothesis and originality of proposed work, and scientifically defend a proposed approach;
  • demonstrate the ability to critique, and present applications of research in the field as presented through academic material published in peer-reviewed venues.

Students participating in this programme will gain the following subject knowledge and understanding of:

  • what blockchain and DLTs are;
  • their functionality and implementation details;
  • and how they can decentralise applications;
  • and the state of the art within their area of focus.

Intellectually, the skills gained by the students include:

  • critical thinking (ability to read, assess, contrast and criticize academic literature);
  • academic project methodology including design, implementation and evaluation.

Key/transferable skills gained by students include:

  • academic reading and writing;
  • orally present material, to an intelligent lay audience;
  • organise a bibliography (develop bibliographic skills);
  • experience in a cross-disciplinary environment;
  • undertake rigorous and valid research;
  • hands-on experience with emerging technology.

Many of these skills are industry relevant and increase the student's employability.

Course intended for

The programme is primarily intended for students coming from an ICT, Law or Business related background and with a first degree or an equivalent professional qualification in their area of specialisation. However, students not in possession of such a qualification but who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that their background, qualifications and experience equips them to follow the degree programme, may still apply.

Career opportunities and access to further studies

This M.Sc. programme will be of interest for those who would like to work in the Blockchain/DLT industry.

Successful students would be able to further pursue a PhD in the area.

Last updated Apr 2019

About the School

The University of Malta (UM) is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are some 11,000 students and abou ... Read More

The University of Malta (UM) is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. There are some 11,000 students and about twelve per cent of the student population is international. Read less