MSc in Digital Currency
We are at the beginning of a global wave of demand for blockchain academic and professional education and certification. The University of Nicosia was the first to recognize this need and responded by offering the first Master of Science degree in Digital Currency, available to students worldwide through an online format since 2014.
The MSc in Digital Currency is designed to help financial services and business professionals, entrepreneurs, government officials and public administrators better understand the technical underpinnings of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, how it will likely interact with existing monetary and financial systems, and what opportunities exist for innovation in digital currency systems.
Top Reasons to Enroll
I am the first woman in the world to earn this degree and I am so proud of it. It enabled me to acquire the necessary technical expertise for carrying out my research on blockchain, governance and public policy. It has been a valuable opportunity for professional growth.
Bridging the Gap
The program seeks to fill an important gap that exists today between the supply of and demand for academic knowledge in the areas of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. More specifically, while the interest in blockchain has skyrocketed in the past few years, academic institutions have been slow to implement academic programs that cover the need for educating specialists in the area, addressing it in its entirety (technical and financial aspects alike).
An increasing number of finance, banking, computing, supply chain, SaaS, AI and IoT businesses are discovering the benefits of this technology. This new potential and the new risks it may involve have to be carefully evaluated by expert lenses, not just in one field, but through the interface of many expert tangents. In this increasingly competitive and interconnected environment, challenges abound and there are no easy solutions. The more spherical the education, the more responsible business decisions can be made, and the best vectors to maximize the advantages out of the use of this technology, can be achieved.
A UNIC Story – Bryant Joseph Gilot
Watch a video of the real story of one of our pioneering graduates from the MSc in Digital Currency.
Some of Our World Renowned Faculty
The MSc in Digital Currency is offered online to students worldwide and the language of instruction is English. The first course in the degree pathway, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, is available for free as an open enrollment MOOC course to anyone interested in learning more about the fundamental principles of digital currency. This course is co-taught by Andreas Antonopoulos, who is among the most known and well-respected figures in bitcoin and Blockchain.
||Mode of Study
||Language of Instruction
||Minimum ECTS Credits
|Master of Science in Blockchain and Digital Currency
||3 semesters or 1 calendar year
||Distance Learning / Online
||90 (9 modules)
The Master’s degree is designed to prepare participants to become competent professionals in the field of digital currency (Cryptocurrencies) and Blockchain technology. Graduates benefit from a broad background, combining courses in Finance, Management, Computer Science, and Information Systems to provide a holistic analysis of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain systems, applications, and services. Students get exposed to an enriching and stimulating curriculum that covers important areas of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology like money and banking, international financial and currency markets, principles of disruptive innovation, regulatory frameworks, Blockchain applications, emerging topics in Blockchain, cryptography and cryptographic systems security, distributed systems architectures, and others.
Theoretical principles, state-of-the-art research, and case studies of digital currency systems and tools are mastered by students who may also select to advance their Blockchain programming skills and become highly skilled developers in digital currencies or specialize in financial/management aspects and become highly literate consultants, entrepreneurs, or financial professionals. The degree constitutes an independent and terminal study in addition to providing the basis for acceptance to, and continued studies towards, a doctoral degree.
Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:
- Define concepts of money and money supply and associate present international financial markets and money transfer systems to digital currency alternatives.
- Explore theoretical principles on currencies, banking, the role of central banks, and monetary policy to determine the likely implications of digital currencies upon them.
- Identify and analyze challenges, prospects, and risks of Cryptocurrencies and devise business proposals and/or develop Blockchain systems and services that address them.
- Apply and advance practice or research on Blockchain technology, cryptography, decentralized systems architectures, and information systems to design innovative systems and services that complement and extend the existing Cryptocurrencies ecosystem.
- Review, analyze, and compare different regulatory environments (banking, payments, commerce, legal, accounting, etc.), debate on likely implications introduced by Cryptocurrencies, and advise on alternative proposals.
- Analyze best practices related to digital currencies, specify business opportunities, and apply digital currency based innovative solutions to address problems in business, finance, or the society at large.
The program is offered through distance learning so as to be accessible to all interested students, irrespective of their geographic location. Within the distance-learning paradigm, the program deploys various teaching methods: while the majority of the courses consist of lectures delivered by the faculty course lecturer(s), in some cases it may be deemed appropriate and beneficial to host guest lecturers with academic and business background related to topics covered in courses.
Moreover, practical exercises, individual and group projects, simulations, and case study analyses, will form an integral part of the teaching methodology employed in the program.
The programme admits students throughout the academic year in periods coinciding with the start of distance learning courses (Spring and Fall).
Applications for admission to the programme will be considered only from candidates that fulfill the minimum entrance criteria as described below:
1. Bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
2. Work Experience
Work Experience is a significant added qualification.
3. Proficiency in the English Language
Students satisfy the English requirements if their first degree was taught in English. Otherwise, they would need to present at least a TOEFL score of 550 paper-based or 213 computer-based, or GCSE “O” Level with “C” or IELTS with a score of 6.0 or score placement at the ENGL-100 level of the University of Nicosia Placement Test.
4. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
If you are unsure whether you meet the admissions requirements, please complete the registration form to start a discussion with an Admissions advisor.
The program gives students the opportunity to acquire deeper knowledge and skills in the field of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. This is a relatively new area of practice and research that is expected to provide ample employment opportunities for program graduates in various and inter-disciplinary positions at the intersection between management, computer science, and finance.
The program is both theoretical and practical and has been designed to allow the students to choose those elective courses that will meet their future career goals. In particular, elective courses are split into two main streams: one (consisting of courses COMP-530, COMP-531, COMP532, and COMP-533) is addressing the needs of students who want to delve into the details of computer-science related aspects of Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies, and one (consisting of courses FIN-534, DFIN-535, and MIS-536) is addressing the needs of students wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of financial and information systems aspects of digital currencies (FinTech). Regardless of the stream chosen by students, each lecturer will strive to create an inspiring atmosphere for the students who want to know more than just the basic facts in each of these various fields of study.
Graduates of the program should be able to:
- Hold managerial positions in FinTech, RegTech industries or related posts in finance, regulation, and government offices.
- Become senior technical developers or administrators in the ICT marketplace as it relates to Cryptocurrencies systems and Blockchain applications.
- Become entrepreneurs and establish their own enterprises in the field of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.
- Continue studying towards a doctoral degree.
Access to Further Studies
The program will provide the basis for acceptance to a doctoral degree in the emerging field of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, in areas that depend on each student’s background, chosen electives, and research interests: computer science (including cryptography, security, distributed and mobile IT systems), finance, management, innovation, and technology regulation.
The program is structured into three semesters, with 30 ECTS per semester.
The first two semesters include three courses each, which are required for the completion of the program, whereas the third semester includes courses that students should choose among a wide list of elective courses. There is a thesis option (20 ECTS) and a project option (20 ECTS), for students wishing to substitute elective courses during the third semester.
The overall allocation of ECTS in required and elective courses is as follows:
|Required Courses (1st semester)
|Required Courses (2nd semester)
|Elective Courses (3rd semester)
| Thesis option
| Project option
The complete program pathway is as follows:
|DFIN-511 Introduction to Digital Currencies
||Andreas Antonopoulos and Antonis Polemitis
|FIN-512 Money and Banking
||Ifigenia Georgiou and Adam Hayes
|DFIN-513 Open Financial Systems
||Ifigenia Georgiou and Apostolos Kourtis
|DFIN-522 Regulation and Digital Currencies
||Haris Savvides and Mark Toohey
|MGT-523 Principles of Disruptive Innovation
||Marinos Themistocleous and George Giaglis
|DFIN-524 Blockchain Technology and Applications
||Klitos Christodoulou and Elias Iosif
|COMP-530 Cryptographic Systems Security
|COMP-541 Digital Currency Programming
||Kostas Karasavvas and Klitos Christodoulou
|FIN-521 International Currency Markets
|DFIN-535 Digital Currencies in the Developing World
||Evi Zamani and Adam Hayes
|FIN-534 Financial Markets and Alternative Investments
||Ifigenia Georgiou and Ioannis Menelaou
|MIS-536 Emerging Topics and Practical Considerations in Blockchains
||Elias Iosif and Marinos Themistocleous
To successfully complete the program, students must complete 90 ECTS and all program requirements.
- In the 3rd semester, the required electives are 30 ECTS: either three elective courses or one course plus the Project or Thesis.
- The courses COMP-530, COMP-541 are technical and are recommended for students with a background or expertise in Computer Science.
Faculty and Staff
The University of Nicosia has one of the largest teams in the world in academia focused on blockchain and digital currency issues. Over 35 people have been involved in the program in some capacity over the last 24 months.
Tuition and Scholarships
Tuition fees are €1,620 per course, except for the course DFIN-511, which is provided free in the form of a MOOC (massive, open, online course).
The total cost of the master’s programme is €12,960
The first course in the degree programme pathway, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, is offered as a MOOC, free of charge, to students worldwide.
There is a non-refundable €55 application fee for the master’s programme.
We accept tuition and fee payments via the following methods:
- Online payments on the University website via the Student Application tool
- Online at JCCSmart
- Flywire International Payments
- By Using Bitcoin (Students paying in Bitcoin will receive a 5% discount on the “net fees” (i.e. after scholarship) payable)
- By Bank Transfer
- By Means of a Bank Draft issued to University of Nicosia
- By Cash, Cheque or Visa at the Finance Department Offices
Please visit the Payment Methods page on the main UNIC website for detailed payment instructions
Students paying the full program fees upfront will receive an additional 7.5% discount on the “net fees” (i.e. after all other discounts and scholarship) payable.
The University of Nicosia believes strongly in expanding accessibility to and affordability of higher education. For 2018 – 2019, the MSc in Digital Currency program has over €300,000 euros of financial aid available to students attending the MSc in Digital Currency, through a combination of merit scholarships, need-based scholarships and work-study programs.
Since the MSc program has a rolling admissions policy, scholarships are reviewed and awarded monthly, in conjunction with admissions decisions.
20% to 75%
Students with financial need are eligible to apply for this need-based scholarship award. In order to be considered for this scholarship, in addition to the scholarship application, students need to provide evidence of financial need.
Up to 3 per month (up to 36 annually)
Submit MSc Digital Currency Scholarship Application, including an income statement / proof of financial need.
Work-Study Peer-to-Peer Ambassador ProgramType:
Students with the interest in and a capability to work on outreach or research assistant activities during their studies.
Up to 2 per month (up to 24 annually)
Submit MSc Digital Currency Scholarship Application, including a brief proposal explaining what services you can provide to the University’s Blockchain Center of Excellence. (Digital Ambassadors are expected to work 15 hours per month on either outreach or research)
UNIC Proof-of-Work Merit ScholarsType:
Students with strong undergraduate academic records. Minimum level for consideration is an undergraduate GPA above 3.5 (US scale), “First” (UK scale) or local equivalent.
Up to 3 per month (up to 36 annually)
Submit MSc Digital Currency Scholarship Application and undergraduate transcript
Genesis Block ScholarsType:
Students with exceptional track records in crypto-currency. In order to be considered for this award, documentation of contribution and notable achievements in cryptocurrency must be provided.
5 annually, awarded on a rolling basis
Submit MSc Digital Currency Scholarship Application, including proof of academic or professional work in Blockchain Technology and a cover letter explaining your involvement.
Ripple Scholarsfunded by Ripple
Type: Merit Based
Students with exceptional track records in technical work in Blockchain. In order to be considered for this award, you must provide a developer portfolio (e.g., Gitlab, Github portfolio or similar). Contributions to other users' projects will also be considered.
*Further to the above:
- Students with exceptional accomplishments, circumstances or need can be considered for a 100% scholarship (12,960 euros) at the University’s discretion.
- All Scholarship applications must be accompanied by a brief cover letter explaining their eligibility.
- Scholarship applications are reviewed monthly. Applications must be submitted by the last day of the month to be eligible for that month’s review.
- Only students who have completed their MSc application and have been accepted to the MSc are eligible to submit a scholarship application
- Each student can earn a maximum of one (1) merit or need-based scholarship, though need and merit scholarships can be combined
- Work-study programs can be combined with either need or merit scholarships upon special approval
- Scholarships are applied on a pro-rata basis to each course in the MSc
- The University of Nicosia reserves the right, at its sole discretion to award or not award any scholarship to any student and/or to change the number of scholarships awarded, their eligibility requirements or any other aspect of the financial aid program