Faculty of Arts

University of Peradeniya

Faculty of Arts

University of Peradeniya





Extended Education Programmes


The Department of English conducts an extension course in English of six months' duration for employed adults in the educational, economic, industrial, administrative sectors, ect, with a view to upgrading their competence in English. This is a self-financed course conducted over weekends.

Students reading for degrees externally are registered at the External Examinations Branch housed at No. 10, Old Galaha Road, Peradeniya.

A first examination has been prescribed for the external degree programme, and students are expected to complete it or obtain exemption from it before they sit the final examination.

Normally, the minimum qualifications for registration as a student for an external degree are identical to the minimum requirements for entry to the university. However, the university Senate has also recognized a variety of professional and other qualifications for the purpose. In certain circumstances the Senate may grant exemption from the GAQ External Examination. Details of the minimum requirements for registration, the curriculum, examinations, etc., are given in the External Students' Guide

The Faculty of Arts of the University of Peradeniya is one of the premier centres of teaching and research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences in Sri Lanka. It has a long established research tradition and a highly respected publication record. It also conducts the oldest continuing Academic Seminar Series in the Sri Lankan university system, the Ceylon Studies Seminar. In 1942 the faculty brought out the first academic journal in the Social Sciences and the Humanities to be published in Sri Lanka, the University of Ceylon Review. After the publication of this journal was discontinued in 1965, the faculty commenced publishing two separate journals, the Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities and Modern Sri Lanka Studies. In 2002 the faculty commenced publishing two journals in swabasha, one in Sinhala, called Sambhavana, and another in Tamil, called Palkhalai.

Individual members of the academic staff of the Faculty of Arts participate in projects funded by many local and foreign agencies. Members of the faculty also provide consultancy services to various organizations. The Department of Archaeology cooperates with the Government Department of Archaeology in many activities, including the Cultural Triangle Project. The Departments of Economics, Geography, Sociology, Political Science, and Pali and Buddhist Studies, among others, also provide expertise and consulting services to various government agencies.

The faculty recently established the first center for outreach activities called Centre for the Study of Human Rights as part of the Department of Political Science. Funding for the establishment of this centre comes from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

This center undertakes teaching, and training in the area of human rights, and is also engaged in devoping a documentation and library unit relating to this subject. The outreach programmes of the centre will mainly concentrate on educating the university and the outside community in human rights.

The Senerath Paranavitana Teaching and Research Museum attached to the Department of Archaeology was established in 1960 by Prof. P.L. Prematilleke under the guidance of Prof. Senerath Paranavitana with a view to undertaking teaching and research.

Among the exhibits of this museum are plaster casts of important Hindu and Buddhist sculptures including one of the figure of Tara exhibited in the British Museum. In addition to this, the museum contains prehistoric objects, ritual objects, weapons and tools, writing materials, household implements, personal effects, cosmetic objects, ornaments and objects of betel culture, pharmaceutical items, coins, seals, textiles, and pottery. The collections of U. Batuwantudawa, W.H. Biddel, and D.P. Hettiarachchi contain most of the above material.

The museum was officially named after Senerat Paranavitana in 1990. Apart from teaching, the museum also holds exhibitions for school children and the public periodically. A catalogue of the museum's holdings is due to be published soon.