The dominant model for eukaryotic cell cycle control proposes that cell cycle progression is driven by a succession of CDK complexes with different substrate specificities. However, in fission yeast it has been shown that a single CDK complex generated by the fusion of the Cdc13 cyclin with the CDK protein Cdc2 can drive the mitotic cell cycle. Meiosis is a modified cell cycle programme in which a single S-phase is followed by two consecutive rounds of chromosome segregation. Here we systematically analyse the requirements of the different fission yeast cyclins for meiotic cell cycle progression. We also show that a single Cdc13-Cdc2 complex, in the absence of the other cyclins, can drive the meiotic cell cycle. We propose that qualitatively different CDK complexes are not absolutely required for cell cycle progression either during mitosis or meiosis, and that a single CDK complex can drive both cell cycle programmes.