The Department of Education (DoE), University of Peradeniya (UoP) has had a long and remarkable history. In 1949 the Department of Education of the University of Ceylon was established in Colombo. The DoE was shifted to the new University campus at Peradeniya in 1957. From its beginning, this Department conducted the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Programme, which supported the professional training of graduate teachers in the country. The Bachelor of Education Course (B.Ed) was inaugurated in 1964 whereby educational subjects at the degree level were introduced.

With the reorganization of courses in universities and on the recommendations of the Jayaratna Committee a single Faculty of Education was established in the University of Colombo in 1975 to which was amalgamated the resources of the Departments of Education at Peradeniya and of the then Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara Universities. Thus the Department of Education at Peradeniya ceased to function in 1975.

As a result of the implementation of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 and the restoration of the autonomy of universities, the Department of Education was re-established at the University of Peradeniya in 1979. In 1985 the government decided not to grant full pay study leave for teachers who wished to follow the PGDE. This provided an opportunity for this Department to introduce self financed courses at postgraduate level. However, in 1992 the Ministry of Education reverted back to the earlier policy of granting leave to teachers to follow the PGDE.

DoE is the pioneer in the introduction of Post Postgraduate Diploma in Physical Education (PGDPE) in Sri Lanka in 2000.

In 2001 the curriculum of the PGDE was restructured under the course unit system with major revisions of the present curriculum and the introductions of the new subjects were carried out after the reestablishment of the DoE at Peradeniya.The Department is enriched with both human and other physical resources. In 2002 the Department of Education was provided with a new building under the Teacher Education and Teacher Deployment (TETD Project) of the Ministry of Education (MoE) which was funded by the World Bank.