about us > History of department of geography



The Department of Geography, University of Malaya, was established at Pantai Valley in 1959. Thirty years have lapsed since its establishment and this is a sufficiently long period of time for the Department to reflect on its past and ponder over its future. Geography became an academic subject at the tertiary level in then Malaya in 1928 when Raffles College was founded in Singapore. It was 21 years later that it attained university status when the University of Malaya was established in 1949, also in Singapore (Ho 1959). After the Federation of Malaya became independent in 1957, a sister campus was set up in 1959 at a scenic spot called Pantai Valley in the western suburbs of Kuala Lumpur. The new Department of Geography came into existence with 5 academic and general staff members.

The department currently offers programs leading towards both B.A. and B.Sc. degrees at the undergraduate level and M.A., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the graduate level. Currently there are over 100 undergraduate students enrolled in geography courses in each year of study. There are almost 15 graduate students in the department.

Our programs reflect the multidisciplinary nature of Geography. At both the undergraduate and graduate level, students have the opportunity to study a wide array of sub-specialisations that include Biogeography, Cultural and Historical Geography, Economic Geography, Environment and Resource Management, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Transportation Geography, Physical Geography, Social Geography, and Urban Geography. Students also have a great amount of flexibility in developing a degree program with other disciplines through our collaborative programs with other departments at the University of Malaya. Our academic staff represents a diversified range of research interests.