The college was established in the month of November 1999 on the land donated by His Highness Sri.Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the last ruling Maharaja of the princely State of Travancore. The college started its functioning in the buildings of the Barton Hill Girl's High School, Kunnukuzhy which is now defunct.
The college now offers five full time B. Tech. degree courses with annual intake of 60 and three M.Tech degree course with annual intake of 18.
B.Tech degree courses offered are:
1. Electrical and Electronics Engineering
2. Electronics and Communication Engineering
3. Information Technology
4. Mechanical Engineering
5. Civil Engineering
M.Tech degree courses offered are:
1. M.Tech in Information Technology with specialization in Network Engineering
2. M.Tech in Electronics and Communication with specialization in Signal Processing
3. M.Tech in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Machine Design
The faculty members are from the pool of Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors under the Department of Technical Education, who are arguably the best in the state. It is the same pool which provides the faculty to all the nine Government Engineering Colleges in the State. The 50 strong faculty team of the college consists of 7 Ph.D holders and 26 PG degree holders. Admission to this college is done through the Centralised Allotment Process (CAP) based solely on the rank secured in the Common Entrance Examination conducted by the Government of Kerala.
Government of Kerala have initiated steps to make Government Engineering College, Bartonhill a Center of Excellence. As part of that a series of new buildings were inaugurated on 16-02-2011. These buildings include state-of-the-art Main College buildings, Mechanical, Information Technology and Electronics Laboratory Blocks and Ladies Hostel.