History and Background of the Department

The Department of International Relations is the pioneer in the introduction of International Relations to the University system. The initial introduction of the subject – by Professor Shelton U. Kodikara, Professor Emeritus Amal Jayawardene, and Professor George Cooray – to undergraduate and postgraduate students be dated back to the 1970s. Initially introducing the subject whilst being part of the Department of History and Political Science; subsequent to the bifurcation of that department, the Special Degree in International Relations was introduced while part of Department of History and International Relations. Under the leadership Senior Professor Nayani Melegoda the Department of International Relations was established on the 29th July 2010.

The Department offers four-year International Relations Honors Degree, and three-year Study Stream in Conflict Resolution and Peace for undergraduates. The Department offers 42 courses per year; 13 of which are taught in English medium. The students get the opportunity to learn bilingual teaching from second year onward, also exposed to internationally renowned experts through Visiting Lecturers, the Guest Lecture Series and the Annual Seminars. The students are benefited from professional trainings offered at the end of third year education with the mandatory field exposure through the Internship Programme. The Academic staff holds 3 doctorates (from the UK, the USA, and Japan); one MPhil (from Norway) and currently, five are studying for their doctorates (in India, New Zealand and the UK). All lecturers have obtained Masters (from Canada, the USA, Japan, and Sri Lanka) and have are SEDA qualified.