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The Department of Extra-Mural Studies, in its endeavour to maintain its status as a leader offering University education by extra-mural methods in Kenya, come along to be where it is today

The first Department of Extra-Mural Studies was founded in Makerere in 1953, and under this Department, the first resident tutor for Kenya was appointed in 1956. In 1963 the responsibility of organising the extra-mural studies in Kenya was transferred to a new Extra-Mural Department of the then University College, Nairobi. In the same year, the College of Social Studies, Kikuyu, which had run an independent centre for residential adult education since 1961, was absorbed into the University College, Nairobi.

The centre was then amalgamated with the Extra-Mural Department, thus forming the Institute of Adult Studies. In 1966 the two departments were integrated under one director and the residential centre was renamed the Adult Studies Centre.

1967 saw the establishment of the Correspondence Course Unit as another arm of the institute. The three 'departments' of the Institute were officially referred to as the Extra-Mural Division, the Adult Studies Centre and the Correspondence Course Unit.

In 1983 the Institute of Adult Studies was accorded College status and became the College of Adult and Distance Education following the recommendation of the Inspection and Visitation Committee that established six Colleges of the University of Nairobi.

In September 1985 the government accepted the recommendations of the University Council that elevated the three divisions of the College into Institute of Extra Mural Studies, School of Distance Studies and the Institute of Adult Studies. A new Faculty of External Studies was established.

In August 1988, the College was re-organised, re-structured and renamed College of Education and External Studies (CEES). The College has three Faculties viz:

  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Social Science
  • Faculty of External Studies

The former Institute of Extra-Mural Studies, School of Distance Studies and Institute of Adult Studies were moved to the new Faculty of External Studies as departments. The departments are;

  • Department of Educational Studies
  • Department of Extra-Mural Studies
  • Department of Distance Studies






Jackoniah Odumbe 1986-1991







Judith Kamau 1992-1995






Dr Omondi Bowa 1996-2000






Dr Robert M. Ayot 2001-2002

Christopher Gakuu  2003-March2013




Dr Charles Rambo March2013 -To date



The Department of Extra-Mural studies since its inception has realized expansion with a range of academic programmes and provision of Learner Support Services for various schools, Departments and Colleges in the University.  Examples of Milestones achieved include:

  • 1986 – 1999 Conducting short certificate courses and public lectures.
  • 2000 - Introduced 5 Diploma programmes and four Certificate courses, enrollment increased from 80 to 600 students in 2001.
  • 2002 – Introduced 2 Postgraduate Diploma programmes and this increased the programmes from 9 to 11 programmes.  The enrollment increased from 600 to over 1000 students.
  • In the year 2003 the department was able to graduate 450 diploma students and 90 postgraduate Diploma students giving a total of 540 graduands.
  • In the year 2006 the department launched Masters Degree programme in Project Planning and Management, which has since become very popular and experience high enrollment countrywide.
  • In the year 2011 the department launched its first PhD in Project Planning and Management with the course work which enrolled 90 students, who since then has completed course work and now presenting their Thesis proposals at the Departmental and School levels respectively.
  • In the year May 2012 the Department launched Bachelor Degree in Project Planning and Management.  The Department admits in this programme on a tri-semester basis.  The first group currently are in their fourth semester.
  • In the year 2000, the Department had on six main Extra-Mural centres, but since then the centres has increased to 12 Extra-Mural Centres countrywide.
  • In the year, 2000 the department had only six Resident Lecturers with only one with a PhD.  Today, the Department has 12 Resident Lecturers of whom 10 has PhDs, 6 are about to complete their PhDs, 1 full Professor and 1 Associate Professor, this gives a total of 19 members of academic staff.
  • Currently the department dispatches about 30 members of Academic staff from School and College to supervise end of Semester Examinations at various Extra-mural main Centres and sub-centres countrywide. 
  • The Department graduated about 500 Masters students and 2000 diplomas in the year 2012.
  • In May 2013 the department Launched Masters Degree in Project Planning and Management through online.  Currently the online programme has 30 students.
  • The Department admits an average of 3000 Diploma students per year, 700 Masters, 50 PhDs, 300 Bachelor students and about 1000 Certificates students annually.