A Diploma in Architectural Technology had been offered at the Polytechnic of the University of Malawi from 1993 to 2001. However, those Malawians wishing to attain a full professional qualification had to study abroad. In 1999, a committee comprising representatives from the Malawi Institute of Architects (MIA), the Surveyors Institute of Malawi (SIM), the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), the Polytechnic and government ministries (Lands and Housing) was established to assist the University in the consultative process of establishing degree programmes in the built environment at the Polytechnic. Its first goal was to oversee the upgrading of the existing diploma course in Architectural Technology to a full degree course. This was achieved in the year 2000. Later, the Committee looked at the desirability of offering other programmes in related disciplines. These programmes would constitute the principal professions that the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) was created to support and develop. Five degree programmes: Architectural Studies, Land Economy, Land Surveying, Physical Planning and Quantity Surveying were approved and introduced at the Polytechnic in 2004.
In case of the architecture programme, the nature of the programme is two tiered and so far the Polytechnic has been offering the first tier and it is yet to start offering the second tier - Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) - which was approved in 2014. The Department of Architecture was originally administered in the department of civil engineering.