Study Stream in Culture and Heritage (03 Years)

Undergraduate courses consist of three-year general degree (BA) Programs and four-year special degree (BA Hons.) Programs. In 2016 the Faculty of Arts replaced the General Degree (BA) with a Study Stream, which means that each student who chooses to enroll in a 3 year degree program will now enter into the particular department’s study stream. In the Department of History, that would be the Culture and Heritage Study Stream. This grants 3 year degree students the ability to graduate with a BA in Culture and Heritage.
The duration for a Study Stream degree course is three years including the first year study.

HIS 1101

This course is designed to give first year students a basic understanding of the nature of history as a branch of knowledge. It will examine the philosophical and epistemological issues that influenced the growth and expansion of the discipline of History. It will deal with such basic questions as ‘What is history?’ and also discuss various approaches to history. Especially, it exposes the students to the most updated knowledge on the subject of history so that they will be quite prepared to follow courses both on specific cases of histories in Sri Lanka and other parts of the world and more advanced courses on conceptual issues involving historical investigation.


View Course Content

HIS 1202

This course will provide the first year student with a basic knowledge on important themes and aspects of Sri Lankan and world history, which will be helpful for studying history further. It will especially help them in understanding major developments, trends and events in the history of Sri Lanka in relation to the larger contexts of the developments, trends and events in the history of the world. It will discuss major developments in ancient, colonial and modern Sri Lankan history and give a brief outline of classical civilizations in the historical evolution of the modern world.


View Course Content

HIS 2122

This course examines the major historical processors that shaped Sri Lanka before the thirteenth century during the Rajarata civilization. It will mainly focus on the various patterns of early settlement formation, the emergence of early political institutions and the evolution of urbanised society.


View Course Content

HIS 2123 History Writing: New Directions

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to some important new directions in history writing of the recent decades that have forced a re-evaluation of the relationship of historians to their subject. The course will trace fundamental changes that came with structuralism and the Marxist school in Britain before exploring the […]


View Course Content

HIS 2136 History of Religions

Course Description: This course examines the origin and evolution of some of the main religions up to the 16th century, linking them to the growth of cities, to conquests and territorial expansion, to revolutions and wars. Some of the topics covered are: the coming of Hinduism, the Judaic roots of Christianity and Islam, the teachings […]


View Course Content

HIS 2137 History of Colonialism in Sri Lanka I

Course Description: This course provides an in-depth understanding of the early colonial encounter between Portuguese and Dutch European powers and Sri Lankan society. The course will discuss diverse aspects of this encounter, such as economic, political, social and cultural aspects. It will especially try to identify the impact of the early colonial encounters on Sri […]


View Course Content

HIS 2220 Modern Europe

Course Description: This course is designed to examine the economic, political, and social changes that took place in Europe after the Renaissance. The course will introduce the changes that set off the historical process known as the ‘Modern Europe’. It will start with the break-up of the ‘Old Europe’ and especially the decline of feudalism. […]


View Course Content

HIS 2224 History of the Indian Ocean

Course Description: This course will explore how the use of the Indian Ocean from the early civilizations to the arrival of the Europeans impacted the shaping of the history of the Indian Ocean world. It will look at phenomenal aspects of trade, migration and the militarisation of the Indian Ocean and the consequences of these […]


View Course Content

HIS 2238 Methods of Historical Inquiry

Course Description: This course is designed to provide a comprehensive knowledge about both critical thinking and research skills in historical inquiry. It will focus on conceptual developments in the philosophy of knowledge and how this impacted changes in the nature of historical inquiry. It will also deal with research techniques, methods and methodology. Learning Objectives: […]


View Course Content

HIS 2239 History of the Americas

Course Description: This course will examine the history of the American continent since the arrival of the Europeans. Beginning with a brief discussion of the pre-colonial social formations in the continent it will explain the changes that took place after the European interventions and how the nations have been shaped and reshaped in colonial and […]


View Course Content

HIS 3150 History of Art

Course Description: This course will provide an understanding of how and in what capacity artworks, including paintings, sculpture, craft, can be used as an alternative source to explore the past and historical practice. This course does not rely only on a chronological spread but covers art from many countries as well as the theory of […]


View Course Content

HIS 3164 History of Capitalism

Course Description: This course will examine the origins and development of capitalism in the western world and the US, and how it expanded to the rest of world and ultimately shaped the world’s economy and politics. It will pay attention to the development of capitalism as an economic system and major factor of the social […]


View Course Content

HIS 3169 African History up to 1870

Course Description: This course covers the period of African history up to 1870. It will examine the human activities in Africa before its encounters with European colonial powers by analysing the history of the northern, western, eastern, central and southern Africa states before 1870. This course focuses on how, through trade and religious activities, Africa […]


View Course Content

HIS 3170 Themes of Indian History

Course Description: This course is designed to give students a broader understanding of the historical development of the Indian subcontinent from early stages of the state formation. This will allow students to grasp the historical nexus between India and Sri Lanka from its pre- colonial past to the modern age. The course introduces major themes […]


View Course Content

HIS 3171 Themes in History of the Middle East

Course Description: This course treats the emergence of the modern Middle East from the late 18th century to the present. It deals with reformist attempts to meet the European challenge, the age of colonialism, the rise of Nationalism, development strategies of Socialism and Capitalism, the impact of Israeli and Palestinian Nationalism, the petroleum factor, the […]


View Course Content

HIS 3266 Sri Lanka in the Pre Modern times II

Course Description: This course will discuss various historical processes of Sri Lanka from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. It will focus on demographic, political and cultural developments after the collapse of Rajarata society, the evolution of major post Rajarata polities, and in particular, the rise of Jaffna and Kotte and Kanda Udarata. It will […]


View Course Content

HIS 3268 Gender/ Nation and Ideology

Course Description: This course is designed to explore the nexus between the social construction of gender, embracing the concept of nation and its ideology within colonial, nationalist and postcolonial contexts. Using a variety of historical and theoretical material, this course will address how sexual differences operate in various contexts such as colonialism and nation building, […]


View Course Content

HIS 3272 History of Colonialism in Sri Lanka II

Course Description: This course addresses the structural changes that came about under British domination from the 1832 Colebrook-Cameron reforms up to the independence in 1948. Hence, this course discusses issues such as the emergence of new identities and identity politics, new religious practices and their consequences, landscape changes and ordering the space, economic changes and […]


View Course Content