UMK is the 19th public university founded in Malaysia. In the early stages UMK operates on board the Kota Bharu Teaching Institute, Kelantan. On 1 July 2007, UMK started to operate officially after fully moving to the temporary campus at Taman Bendahara, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. UMK's first student enrollment is 295 and continues to grow every year. UMK now operates in three (3) Campus namely (1) UMK Bachok; (2) City Campus; & (3) Jeli Campus. Until 2018, UMK has been led by four (4) Vice Chancellors:
YBhg. Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zainai b. Mohamed (1 Okt 2006 - 31 Dis 2011)
YBhg. Prof. Datuk Dr. Raduan b. Hj Che Rose (1 Jan 2012 - 31 Disember 2014)
YBhg. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mortaza b. Mohamed (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Disember 2017)
YBhg. Prof. Dato' Dr Husaini b. Omar (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Disember 2018)
YBhg. Prof. Dato' Ts. Dr. Noor Azizi b. Ismail (1 Jan 2019 - Kini)
Faculty of Creative Technology & Heritage (FTKW) was the earliest faculty established with the establishment of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) in 2006 through the announcement of the Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato 'Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi who has expressed the government's consent to set up a public university in Kelantan in the 9th Ninth Plan in 31 March 2006. As a result, the establishment of UMK has been approved by the Cabinet at Cabinet Meeting on 14 June 2006. The Cabinet has set the Philosophy of School Curriculum in UMK to be based on Entrepreneurship Education and Enterprises in all courses of study. Thus the stimulus phrase "Entrepreneurship is Our Thrust" and "Entrepreneurial University" as well as the use of ICT as an Enabler is widely used.
FTKW was also established with the establishment of UMK and has been operating at the City Campus, Bendahara Park, Pengkalan Chepa for four (4) years (2007 - 2010) and moved to a permanent campus in Bachok in 2011. Until 2015, FTKW has successfully produced many graduates in creative and legacy technology field. The establishment of the FTKW aims to preserve the heritage and to outperform creative technologies in the field of creative entrepreneurship in line with the National Creative Industry Policy (DIKN, 2009) at the global and global levels. This goal is in line with UMK's vision and mission as an entrepreneurial university to produce graduates who are competent with entrepreneurial, skilled and high-skilled characteristics in design, creative technology, heritage, and creative entrepreneurship at pre-graduate and postgraduate studies. Of course, this is all done with an academic and ethical professionalism to produce graduates who are able to contribute significantly to the development of creative industries at the regional, national and international levels through the application and practice of science, technology and skills to improve the welfare of society.