The department of Political and Administrative studies is one of the oldest academic departments in the University of Malawi. It currently is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Chancellor College. The college is the oldest con­stituent College of the University of Malawi and the oldest institution of higher learning in Malawi. Over the years, the College has enjoyed the reputation of being Malawi’s premier institution of higher education, and has produced nu­merous leaders of Government, industry and civil society.

The department of Political and Administrative Studies was born out of the Staff Training College now called the Staff Development Institute (SDI). In 1962 the college established the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) to train civil servants. The IPA became one of the constituent colleges of the University of Malawi when it was founded in 1965, and when Chancellor College moved to Zomba in 1973, the IPA was restructured and became an academic depart­ment called Department of Public Administration under the Faculty of Law and Public Administration. Since then, the Department has undergone a number of changes and is now called the Department of Political and Administrative Stud­ies in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The department currently has three academic streams namely public admin­istration, political science and human resource management. It offers three undergraduate and four postgraduate programmes as follows:

  • BA (Public Administration) – a four year degree programme catering for students who come straight from secondary schools and those who join in the first year as mature or non-residential students.

  • BA (Political Science) – a four year degree programme majoring in political science.

  • BA (Human Resource Management) – a programme which started in 1990 as a fully funded mature entry two-year programme. From 1995, it became a fee paying full-time programme and later became a week­end programme.

  • MA (Political Science).

  • MA (Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations)

  • Master of Public Administration and Management

  • PhD in Public Administration/ Public Sector Management (Programme is offered by research or after fulfilling the coursework of the faculty-wide PhD in Development Studies programme plus a public sector topic related thesis)

The department has also been instrumental in the development and running of the MA in Development Studies programme which is offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the PhD in Development Studies programme.

What makes us unique?

Situated in the former capital city of Malawi, Zomba, the Department of Po­litical and Administrative Studies (PAS) forms part and parcel of the academic departments of the prestigiousFaculty of Social Science in the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College. Apart from the numerous unique features that the department shares with Chancellor College and Faculty of Social Science in particular, there are some special qualities that make it peculiar. The Depart­ment’s peculiarity is inter alia three-fold: its extensive training record, diverse number of undergraduate programmes offered and a multidisciplinary staff compliment.

Extensive training record

PAS department traces its background to as far as 1962 before the country at­tained its independence- even before the University of Malawi was established. Initially established as the Institute of Public administration, it offered diploma programmes in public administration to African administrators who were be­ing prepared to take over from the British expatriates. The department became a constituent college of the University of Malawi in 1967. This makes the de­partment to be regarded as one of the oldest in the University with a unique and extensive training record that precedes our attainment of independence.

Number of undergraduate programmes offered

Another unique feature is that it is the only department at Chancellor College which offers three full undergraduate programmes: Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration) and Bachelor of Arts (Hu­man Resources Management). Suffice to add that, responding to the prevailing industry demands, it is the only department in the University of Malawi that offers an innovative undergraduate weekend programme (the Bachelor of Arts –Human Resources Management) .

A multidisciplinary staff compliment

Finally, the department is also recognized because of its multidisciplinary ap­proaches and diverse expertise of its staff compliment. Specifically, besides their specialization in broad areas of public administration, politics and human resources, PAS staff are also experts in development studies, gender, gover­nance, policy analysis and management. Consequently, the programmes offered by the department are highly enriched by this diversity.

What is it that we want to achieve?

The department has an ambitious programme in order to help fulfill the University of Malawi’s core mandate of teaching, research, publication and outreach. In this regard, it has the following vision, mission and strategic areas:

Our Vision

To be a vibrant centre of academic excellence in politics, governance and man­agement serving the nation and the region with dedication and integrity

Our Mission

To undertake teaching, research, publications and outreach in politics, gover­nance and management to ensure that the country and the region continu­ously adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

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About Chancellor College

Chancellor College is the largest among the constituent colleges of the University of Malawi. Ever since its establishment, the college has produced graduates who have gone on to become leaders in various sectors of Malawian society.

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