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.

Head of Department
Associate Prof. Dr. Aziz Shafie
BSocSc(Hon),MSc,PhD (Universiti Sains Malaysia)

To be an Internationally Renowned Geography Department in Research, Innovation, Publication and Teaching.

To Advance Knowledge and Learning through Quality Research and Education in the fields of Geography of Malaysia and the Tropical Regions


The Department of Geography objectives are :

  • To promote the relevance of geographical knowledge to society at large, in view of the critical role of the environment at the present time.
  • To encourage geography-based research activity among students and lecturers, to increase the body of geographical knowledge.
  • To publish and position the "Malaysian Journal of Tropical Geography (MJTG)" as an internationally recognized journal.
  • To increase the distribution of knowledge via publications, seminars and conferences with the mission of enriching geographical studies at the national and international levels.
  • To develop an efficient, creative and innovative team of academic and support staff.
  • To co-operate with all sectors of society through effective professional networking.
  • Ultimately to produce graduate and postgraduate students of high quality.
Department Chart
Programmes of Study
Department Logo

  • Gold – We Aspire to be the BEST
  • Blue Oceans – We empathized with Environmental Sustainability and Quality of Life issues
  • Orbiting Satellite – We use State of the Art Approaches and Techniques
  • Earth – The Earth is our Domain
Fields offered for the programmes by Thesis/Dissertation according to Department are as follows:
  1. Geography
    • Geography
    • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing
    • Economic and Transportation Geography
    • Urban and Settlement Geography
    • Regional Development and Planning
    • Population and Demography, Social, Cultural
    • Historical and Political Geography
    • Coastal Processes and Management 
    • Biogeography and Soils
    • Land use and Resource Management
    • Climatology and Meteorology
    • Regional Studies (Malaysia & Southeast Asia) 
    • Geomorphology and Hydrology
  2. Enviromental Studies
    • Natural Systems
    • Human Impacts
    • Enviromental Management
    • Auditing and Planning
    • Research Techniques and Enviromental Impact Analysis
    • Enviromental System Modelling
    • Water Resources Management(IWRM)
    • Integrated River Basin Management(IBRM) and Climate Change
Research Area
  1. Meteorology
  2. Urban & Regional Planning
  3. Urban Management
  4. Transportation Economics
  5. Urban & Regional Economic
  6. Spatial Modelling
  7. Urban Studies
  8. Urban Geography
  9. Urban Environments
  10. Regional Geography
  11. Sustainable Development & Planning
  12. Geographical Information System (GIS)
  13. Remote Sensing (RS)
  14. Spatial Politics & Electoral
  15. Spatial Social Science
  16. Social & Cultural Geography
  17. Political Geography
  18. Electoral Geography
  19. Aqua cultural Geography
  20. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  21. Environmental Protection
  22. Environmental Geography
  23. Environmental Governance
  24. Sea grass Ecosystems
  25. Biogeography
  26. Flash Flood Studies
  27. Natural Resource
  28. Health Geography
  29. Demography
Career Opportunities
  • Town and Country Planner
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Area Study Specialist
  • Human Resource Planner
  • Public Transportation Management and Planning
  • Diplomat
  • Management positions in the water sector.

1.Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System(GIS) Computer Lab
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2. Cartography
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Cartography (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps (also can be called mapping). Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively. The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:[citation needed] Set the map's agenda and select traits of the object to be mapped. This is the concern of map editing. Traits may be physical, such as roads or land masses, or may be abstract, such as toponyms or political boundaries. Represent the terrain of the mapped object on flat media. This is the concern of map projections. Eliminate characteristics of the mapped object that are not relevant to the map's purpose. This is the concern of generalization. Reduce the complexity of the characteristics that will be mapped. This is also the concern of generalization. Orchestrate the elements of the map to best convey its message to its audience. This is the concern of map design. Modern cartography is closely integrated with geographic information science (GIScience) and constitutes many theoretical and practical foundations of geographic information systems.

3. Human Geography Lab
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4. Library
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5.Map and Aerial Photography Resource Room
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There are about 70,000 maps in the Department’s map collection which are placed in the Map Room. All attempts are being taken to keep this large collection in good condition, considering that some of the maps are old and rare.

6. Meteorology Station
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The Department has been given the responsibility of running the University’s Met Station. This station is located on top of a hill located behind the Faculty of Science. This station collects climatic data on a daily basis. The data is used for both research and weather monitoring. This station is also used for field training for students following courses in meteorology and climatology in the Department of Geography.

7. Dry Physical Geography Lab
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8. Research Room
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Research lab in the Department of Geography was established in 2002. It is fully used by the Department’s Postgraduate students and also the researchers. There are 10 units of HP computers and printers in the lab.

Department of Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Malaya 
50603 Kuala Lumpur 

T: (603)-7967 5504/5540
F: (603)-7967 5457
Last Update: February 14, 2019