This article is adapted from "Malta National Tour" prepared by V. Cassar, 2008, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1)
Unlike most other European countries, Malta does not have a long tradition in psychology. In fact, psychology is relatively new both as a discipline as well as a profession. Whatever little psychology was taught was largely part of the training for the priesthood or teaching. The University of Malta, although priding itself as being one of the oldest universities in the Mediterranean basin, did not have a department of psychology before 1988. A bachelor's degree in psychology was introduced as recently as 1992. This has proved to be very popular with students and it appears inevitable that in line with the situation in other European countries psychology courses are bound to become amongst the most heavily subscribed.
By the European Federation of Profession Psychologists Associations' standards there are at present about twenty-two professionally trained psychologists in Malta, seventeen of whom are members of the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists. These psychologists are in employment with the University of Malta teaching psychology, the Department of Education as educational/school psychologists, and self employed, as, for example, organizational psychologists.
Research is exclusively carried out by research psychologists at the Department of Psychology of the University of Malta. The vast majority of published research is of an educational nature.
Although Malta can at least boast of a world-renowned psychologist in the person of Edward de Bono of lateral thinking fame, psychological research based on Maltese data is still very much in its infancy. It is only in the past five years or so that articles of a psychological nature have started to appear in international journals and to be presented in several conferences abroad. The Malta Union of Professional Psychologists is proud that a number of its members are pioneering and spearheading this most important aspect of Maltese psychology.
At present training in psychology is offered only at the first-degree level by the Department of Psychology at the University of Malta. It is envisaged that post-graduate professional training course (the degree of Master of Psychology in educational, counseling, or clinical psychology) will commence in 1999.
Although there is as yet no law that regulates the profession of psychology, the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists has recently signed an agreement with the Maltese government, which establishes the psychologist class within the civil service.