In July 1997, the Lingnan University School of General Education was given the responsibility of developing a new BA (Hons) Cultural Studies programme to be launched in September 1999, with the support of a number of contributing departments. In September 2000, the Department of Cultural Studies was formed. From an initial student intake quota of 25, the admission of Year 1 students rose to 35.
Interdisciplinary in nature and in form, the programme represents an important step by the University toward developing itself as an internationally recognized liberal arts institution with Hong Kong characteristics. The BACS degree is the first of its kind in Hong Kong.
In September 2000, the Department also started its MPhil and PhD programme, further enhancing academic research in Cultural Studies in Hong Kong.