Cultural Centre started in 1970 as the Culture Unit under the Office of Public Affairs, University of Malaya. In 1975, the Unit has been named Cultural Centre and placed under the Chancellery of the University of Malaya. Since then until 1997, Cultural Centre has been given responsibility to plan, manage and organize service activities and the promotion of arts and culture to students and staff of the University, within and off campus. The center is administered by a Director assisted by a Deputy Director with a number of cultural officials and several support staff.
The role of Cultural Centre was increases in conjunction with the proposal of two (2) academic programme, Bachelor of Performing Arts (With Honours) Degree in Drama and Music was approved by the Senate of the University of Malaya in April1997. Hence the Cultural Centre has been recognized as a Centre of Responsibility (CoR) offering academic courses.
In year 2000, the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education has approved the proposal for the Cultural Centre to offer postgraduate programme, the Master of Arts. The programme is divided into two (2) areas of specialization, the Performing Arts and Visual Arts. In year 2002, the Cultural Centre begins to offer Doctoral Degrees in various aspects.
In 2001, the Public Service Department (JPA) has recognized the qualification of Bachelor of Performing Arts (Drama) and Bachelor of Performing Arts (Music) as equivalent to a bachelor's degree from institutions of higher learning for the purpose of appointment to public service.
In 2005, the Ministry of Higher Education has approved the proposal for the Cultural Center to offers a Bachelor Degree of Performing Arts in Dance.