Professor Charles Briffa started his teaching career with Stella Maris College, Malta and then he became a state school-teacher after obtaining his PGCE. He taught all levels from primary to tertiary, and his subjects were English, Maltese, Arabic, and Systems of Knowledge. He was eventually promoted to an assistant head of school. He left government services to work for the University of Malta as Principal Subject Area Officer (Arts) with the Matsec Support Unit.
He studied at the University of Malta and at Oklahoma State University. He obtained his B.A. (Hons) and M.A. in English, a postgraduate diploma in the teaching of Arabic, and Ph.D. in Maltese - the latter dealt with rhythmic patterns in modern Maltese literature.