Humanities and Social Sciences have long existed at University of Malawi as distinct academic configurations espousing very different programmatic and research foci. Upon the establishment of Chancellor College in 1965 as a liberal arts college of higher learning, humanities and social sciences formed the core of its programmes. The humanities are academic disciplines aimed at studying how people process and document the human experience. On the other hand, the social sciences are academic disciplines devoted to examining institutions and the functioning of human society at the macro level besides observing and analysing how people establish as well as maintain relationships with each other at a micro level.
As academic disciplines at Chancellor College, the Humanities have always demonstrated relevance across all academic spectra in the areas of critical and creative thinking, personal organisation and provision of solutions to human crises. In its former configuration, the Humanities housed academic programmes on African Languages and Linguistics, Classics, Fine and Performing Arts (Drama, Music and Fine Art), French, English, Language and Communication Skills, Philosophy, and Theology and Religious Studies.
The Social Sciences on the other hand was a configuration of academic disciplines harnessed with the aim of producing all-round social science experts with adequate competencies, skills and knowledge to effectively contribute to innovative social scientific, technological and holistic understanding of the principles, methods of social science inquiry and the application of skills and knowledge that are relevant to solving theoretical and practical problems emerging in the twenty-first century. The social sciences consisted of Economics, History, Political and Administrative studies, Population studies, Psychology and Sociology.
However, the merging of the two academic faculties into one school involves selected disciplines that are also reconstituted in a new way, namely Sociology and Population Studies, Philosophy, Literary Studies, Psychology and Medical Humanities, History Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Language, Linguistics and Classical Studies, and Theology and Religious Studies. This new creation provides an opportunity for the merged entities to discover a new academic niche in terms of programme delivery and research through interdisciplinary activities
- Department of Literary Studies
- Department of Language, Linguistics and Classical Studies
- Department of Philosophy
- Department of Psychology and Medical Humanities
- Department of History, Archaeology and Heritage Studies
- Department of Theology and Religious Studies
- Department of Sociology and Population Studies