University of Peradeniya
Faculty of Arts
Encompassing a breathtaking scenic beauty, the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya is the largest faculty concerning the number of students, staff as well as the stomping grounds. It is known to be the most beautiful and tranquilizing faculty out of all the nine faculties of the university. The Faculty of Arts counts the main library among its possessions as the largest and the oldest library in Sri Lanka.
Around 850 students on “all-island” merit and 10% as special intake are enrolled to the faculty annually. Meanwhile a few physically disabled students are given admission every year after the approval of the University Grants Commission paving path to a diversified environment.
Faculty of Arts comes into existence in Peradeniya, Kandy in 1952 after it was established in Colombo, as a part of then University of Ceylon and as two divided faculties namely Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Oriental Studies. It was in 1972 that both the faculties were amalgamated to form the faculty of Arts which is present today.
The preliminary seven departments of study of the two faculties were Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, Philosophy, and Oriental Languages: Sinhalese, Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit which then extended its branches to seventeen departments up-to-date.
The evolution of the expansion of additional academic disciplines to the faculty commenced in 1945; Law and Arabic, 1949; Sociology, Education and Modern Languages (French and German had been taught for many years as subsidiary subjects), 1959; Archaeology, 2001; Fine Arts, 2002; Management Studies and 2009; Law. Currently, the sixteen departments namely Department of Archaeology, Arabic and Islamic Civilization, Classical Languages, Economics and Statistics, Education, English, Fine Arts, Geography, History, Law, Pali and Buddhist Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Sinhalese, Sociology and Tamil offer a wide range of courses to the students. In addition, there is an English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) which carry out courses to improve students’ English competencies.
In terms of curriculum, the faculty offers a Bachelor of Arts (General) Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Special) Degree in 18 different specialties, a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Business Administration and a LLB. Moreover several number of Postgraduate degrees from Postgraduate diplomas, to MA, M.Phil and PhD are offered by the faculty as External academic programs.
In addition to its academic excellence, the Faculty of Arts is also home to many notable architectural structures, such as the Sarachchandra open-air theatre and the Senate Building. Traditional sculptures and carvings are littered throughout the faculty premises as well, embellishing the already stunning expanse of land the faculty rests upon. The Faculty of Arts is one of many achievements, one which will surely continue to nurture, motivate and inspire generations of students to come.