Education through extra-mural activities started in Kenya in the 1950s, and has since continued to enhance its activities by expanding its range of programmes and geographical spread.
The Department endeavors to take University education to the people by extra-mural and distance methods. As the name suggests the department offers courses outside the “traditional” walls of the University by taking courses to the people's ‘'doorsteps”. To achieve this the Departments has established regional offices located in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kakamega, Garissa, Meru, and other centres are Thika, Eldoret, Kapenguria ,Busia,Bugoma and Kisii.
The Department offers courses in certificates, diplomas, degree and postgraduate level in various academic disciplines. Through its various regional offices the Department also offers learner support services to students registered for the various distance learning programmes of the University of Nairobi