The students entering the Faculty of Arts of the University of Colombo may read for a

  • three-year degree in Arts (Study Streams)      or
  • four-year  Special  degree  in  Arts  majoring  in  one subject           or 
  • Bachelor  of  Education  degree  (BEd)  which belongs to  the four year degree category with Education as the major in the final year of study


The Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, has implemented the Course Unit System (CUs) since 1998. It offers many benefits to students such as extended lecture hours per unit in both semesters, flexibility in designing one’s own study programme, and increased transparency in relation to course outlines and evaluations.


The Academic Year and Semesters
The academic year is divided into two semesters – Semester I and Semester II.


Subject Categories and Codes
In the Faculty of Arts, CUs come under several main subject categories. These main subject categories are announced annually by the Faculty, as subject categories may change.  Students are advised to consult the IDC for specific details. The current list of main subject categories and the associated subject codes are given in Table 1.

Table 1: Subject Categories and Codes

Subject Category Subject Code Subject Category Subject Code
Pali and Buddhist Studies BST/PLG Islamic Civilization ICV
Demography DMG Communication and Media Studies CMS
Economics ECN Political Science and Public Policy PSC
English ENG Sinhala SLG
Geography GYG Sociology SOC
History HIS Foundation* FND
International Studies INR Elective ELT

* FND Course Units are offered for 1st year students, while Elective Course Units (ELT) are for 2nd and 3rd year students.


Course  Units and Codes
Each CU has its own identification code (subject code + unit code). For example, the subject code ECN indicates the Economics stream. The first two digits of the unit code indicate the year and the semester in which the course unit is offered. E.g. ECN 1101 is the Elementary Micro Economics course unit offered in the 1st semester of the first year, and ECN 1202 is the Elementary Macro Economics unit offered in the second semester of the first year.