BA Honours Degree

Level I

HIST 11315 - History of the Ancient World: Earliest Civilizations of Asia and Europe
Course Content :

Human life in pre-civilization era, What is civilization?, Mesopotamian Civilization, Egyptian Civilization, Indus-valley Civilization, Chinese Civilization, Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, Impact of early civilizations on mankind.
HIST 12325 - Political History of Ancient Sri Lanka from Earliest Times up to to the End of the 15th Century A.C.
Course Content :

Influence of geographical factors on the political history of ancient Sri Lanka, Early Settlements, State Formation, Anuradhapura Period, Polonnaruva Period, Shift of the seat of administration to the South and South-west.

Level II

HIST 21414 - History of Sri Lanka from Earliest Times to 1600 AC.
Course Content :

Historical sources; influence of geographical factors on the history of Sri Lanka; the establishment of early settlements by the people of Indian origin; state formation; the advent and spread of Buddhism; political developments of the Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa Kingdoms; Rohanadesa; political developments in South India and their impact on Sri Lanka; shift of the seat of rule to the south-west; decline of the Kotte Kingdom; development of science and technology, irrigation and water resource management; agriculture, culture and society.
HIST 21424 - History of India from 6th Century BC to 1526 AC.
Course Content :

The state formation and the Mahajanapadas; the Magadha empire; Asoka and his dhammavijaya policy; the Sangam period; foreign invasions and their impact; Kanishka; rise of the Guptas and the expansion of Indian culture; the Kingdom of Kanauj and the growth of regional powers in North and Central India; Sathavahanas, Pallavas, Colas, Calukyas, Rashtrakutas and the Pandyans in the South; Muslim invasions of India and the foundation of Delhi Sultanate and its impact; Vijayanagar empire in the South.
HIST 21434 - History of Europe from 5th Century AC to 1648 AC.
Course Content :

Europe's transition from the Medieval Period to the Modern; the Renaissance; Nation States; Geographical discoveries the Reformation and Religious Wars; Industrial Revolution Napoleone Bonaparte; Vienna Congress; Unification movement of Italy and Germany; Russian Revolution; World War I; Europe between the wars; World War II.

HIST 21444 - History of Sri Lanka from 1600 AC to 1948 AC
Course Content :

Emergence of an independent Kingdom in Kandy and its relations with the Portuguese, Dutch and the British; Maritime Provinces under the Portuguese and Dutch; the advent of the British in Sri Lanka: fall of the Kandyan Kingdom; indigenous resistance movements; Colebrooke-Cameron reforms; religious and cultural revival; socio-economic and constitutional changes under the British: the grant of independence; main stages political, social, cultural and economic development; foreign relations of independent Sri Lanka.

HIST 21454 - History of the United States of America from 1775 AC to 1900 AC.
Course Content :

European colonization of North America; thirteen colonies; American war of Independence and the birth of the United States of America; westward expansion; Civil War and the reconstruction; growth of American economy after the Civil War and social changes; emergence of America as a world power.

HIST 22414 - Paleography and Epigraphy
Course Content :

Importance of the epigraphical studies in Archaeology; Various types of writing systems in the world, Origin and development of writing systems; Spread of writing systems in the world; The origin of the alphabet; The origin of Brahmi script; Beginning of writing in Sri Lanka. The early Brahmi Script of Sri Lanka and its development into the Sinhala script. The content, grammar and phonetic of the Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka. A detailed study into the selected later Brahmi inscriptions, Sigiri graffiti, inscriptions of the Polonnaruwa and post Polonnaruwa periods. Tamil inscriptions of Sri Lanka. An introduction to palm leaf manuscripts. Studies on the Asoka edicts and some selected epigraphs of the Indian subcontinent.

HIST 22424 - History of India from 1526 AC to 1947 AC.
Course Content :

The establishment and expansion of the Mughal power in India; administrative, religious and cultural developments under the Mughals; decline of Mughal power and the emergence of regional powers; advent of the Europeans; establishment and expansion of the British supremacy; development of British administrative system; socio-economic and educational changes under the British; partition of India and the grant of independence.

HIST 22434 - History of Europe from 1648 AC to1900 AC
Course Content :

Age of Reason; emergence of Enlightened Despotism; Industrial Revolution and its impact on Europe; French Revolution; forces of liberalism and nationalism with special reference to France, Germany and Italy; Eastern Question in the 19th century; Russia in the 19th century; European labour movement; highlights of the social and cultural history of Europe.

HIST 22444 - Art and Architecture of Sri Lanka up to 1815
Course Content :

The primitive rock art and terracotta figures in Sri Lanka; origin and  development of architectural forms, styles and techniques, planning and layouts of monuments; the functions of religious and secular buildings; palaces and building complexes, fortresses, pleasure-gardens; ancient town planning; paintings and sculpture and their aesthetic value; various phases of development of  Sri Lankan art and architecture from the earliest times up to the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom.                              
HIST 22454 - Socio-economic and Cultural Evolution of Sri Lanka up to 1815 AC.
Course Content :

Salient features of the social structure in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka; state revenue; ownership of property; land tenure; indigenous agriculture; irrigation and irrigation management; language and literary developments; science and technology; internal and external trade; caste system; occupational groups; position of women in society; education.

Level III

HIST 31414 - Sources Pertaining to the Study of the History of Sri Lanka
Course Content :

Main primary sources pertaining to the study of Sri Lankan history: Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, and other Pali and Sinhalese chronicles; Atthakata; other important primary sources pertaining to the ancient and mediaeval history of Sri Lanka; foreign accounts on ancient Sri Lanka; works of Portuguese, Dutch and English writers; official colonial records.

HIST 31424 - Political, Economic and Social Thought and Institutions of India from Earliest Times to 1206 A.C.
Course Content :

The origin and evolution of state and kingship; functions of the state, ministries and departments; provincial and local administration; judiciary; espionage; inter-state relations and state revenue; Aryan society; Dravidian society; varnasrama dharma and religious organization; relations between religion and political thought and institutions; education; marriage; ownership of property; position of women; occupation; agriculture; trade and commerce; irrigation; slavery.

HIST 31434 - Research Methodology and Presentation Skills
Course Content :

An overview of the Research Methodology in Social Sciences; introduction to historical methodology; application of historical methodology, introduction to presentation skills; practical training in multimedia presentations; preparation and presentation of research papers.
HIST 31444 - History of Asia during the 19th and 20th Centuries
Course Content :

Southeast Asia at the beginning of the 19th century; Dutch rule in the East Indies: British conquest of Burma; French conquest of Indo-China; Malaya; Thailand (Siam); Nationalist movements in Southeast Asia, Japan during the Tokugawa Period; Meiji Restoration; rise of Japan as a modern state; China and the Western powers; 1911 revolution; Nationalism and Communism in China; Chinese Revolution.

HIST 31454 - Foriegn Relations and Foreign Policy of Sri Lanka, from Ancient Times to the Present
Course Content :

Invasions from India and Indian influence on social and cultural institutions of Sri Lanka; religious, cultural and commercial relations with foreign countries; relations with the western colonial powers; factors and ideologies which influenced the foreign policy of Sri Lanka since Independence; foreign policy of Sri Lanka from 1948 to 1956; foreign policy from 1956 to 1978; foreign policy and regional co-operation in the 1980s; Sri Lanka and world organizations.

HIST 32414 - Prehistory and Proto-History of South Asia
Course Content :

History of pre and proto historic studies in South Asia; Geological time scales of South Asia and Sri Lanka; Evolution of species and environmental changes in South Asia; Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh; Origins of pottery, agriculture, animal husbandry and settled life in South Asia; Prehistoric art, technology and mortuary practices in Indian subcontinent; Detailed study on prehistory of Sri Lanka.

HIST 32424 - Europe, America and Africa in the 20th Century
Course Content :

Europe, America and Africa at the beginning of the 20th Century; World War I; Russian Revolution; Europe during the inter- war period; World War II; rise of USA  and USSR as world powers; Cold war; post-colonial Africa; collapse of the USSR; international and regional organizations.

HIST 32434 - Political Thought and Institutions of Sri Lanka up to 1815 A.C.
Course Content :

The factors and theories that influenced the evolution of political institutions; the state formation; the origin and development of kingship; the central administrative machinery; judiciary and military organization; espionage; provincial administration and regional states; relations between state and religion; political and administrative changes in the Maritime Provinces under European powers; the Kandyan administrative system.

HIST 32444 - Religious History of Sri Lanka from Earliest Times to 1900 A.C.
Course Content :

Religious practices and belief before the 3rd century BC; introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka; relationship between state and Buddhism; origin and evolution of the Buddhist Sangha; sectarian differences of the Sangha; Mahayanism; Monastic administration; the Katikawatas; the ganas; ayatanas; gramavasa and vanavasa; monastic education; Hinduism; Buddhist revival in the 18th and 19th centuries; religious changes under Western powers; the origin of modern nikayas of the Sangha.

HIST 32454 - European Political Thought up to the Middle of the 20th Century
Course Content :

Political thought of the ancient Greeks; political thought embodied in the concepts of Roman jurists; political ideas of the Christian theorists in the middle ages; political thought of the Renaissance and Reformation; theory of the divine rights of kings; theory of sovereign state; theory of social contract; political thought on the eve of the French Revolution; Laissez-faire; utilitarianism; liberalism; Marxist political philosophy; Fascism and Nazism.

Level IV

HIST 41414 - Sri Lanka since Independence
Course Content :

Constitutional changes between 1948 and 1978; evolution of the political party system in Sri Lanka; Leftist Movement of Sri Lanka and trade unions; local government system; the free education and its impact on social hierarchy of Sri Lankan society; women in independent Sri Lanka; ethno-religious diversity and the ethnic problem; evolution from export oriented economy to welfare economy; open economic policy; colonization movement and rural agriculture; developments in the estate sector; economic development and class system of the Sri Lankan society.

HIST 41424 - Constitiutional Development and National Movement of Modern India, 1773-1948
Course Content :

India under the British East India Company; Parliamentary Acts and Charter Acts pertaining to constitutional history of India from 1773 to 1853; the Queen’s proclamation and the Government of India Act of 1858; major constitutional reforms from 1861 to 1935; religious and social reform movements of India and their influence on the national revival; Indian National Congress and other political organizations and their contribution to the struggle for independence; Hindu-Muslim conflict; partition of India and the grant of independence.

HIST 41434 - Constitiutional Development and National Movement of Sri Lanka, 1796-1948
Course Content :

The establishment of a Crown Colony government and the subsequent developments up to 1833; Colebrooke-Cameron reforms; reforms of 1889, 1910, 1920 and 1923; Donoughmore Constitution; Soulbury Constitution and the transfer of power, Resistance movements against the British rule; activities of the Christian missionaries in the 19th century and reaction of the Buddhists and the Hindus; religious and cultural revivalist movements in the 19th and early 20th centuries; Ceylon National Congress and constitutional agitation; struggle for independence.

HIST 42414 - Economic and Social History of Sri Lanka, from 1600 to 1948
Course Content :

Economic and social conditions of the littoral and the Kandyan Kingdom at the beginning of the 17th century; Portuguese and Dutch Economic policies; social changes occurred in the maritime provinces under the Portuguese and the Dutch; economic policy followed by the British from 1796 to 1832; Colebrooke-Cameron reforms; development of plantations; irrigation policy under the British; foreign and internal trade; commercial enterprise and industries; land policy; agriculture and problems of the peasantry; colonization of the dry zone; co-operative movement; working class and the development of the trade union movement; the development of the welfare policy.

HIST 43426 - Historiography and Methodology
Course Content :

The main developments in the historiography of the Greeks and the Romans; European historiography during the mediaeval and modern periods;  main historical works of Asia with special reference to Sri Lanka, India and China; the impact of the growth of scientific knowledge and of social and economic changes on the development of historiography during modern times; methodology adopted in the utilization of ancient, medieval and modern historical sources; history and its relationship with other disciplines.

HIST 43438 - Dissertation
Course Content :

A dissertation of about 8000-10,000 words based on research work should be submitted. Students will be given guidance. A supervision of their work would be done by a member of the academic staff. The topic of the research may be selected by the student but has to be approved by the relevant supervisor and the Head of the Department.

Contact Us

Department of History
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Kelaniya
Sri Lanka

+94 (0) 11 2 914 491

© Copyright reserved by Department of History, University of Kelaniya - Sri Lanka. Design by ICT Centre, University of Kelaniya.