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Chemistry is often referred to as the “Central Science” as it stands between and significantly overlaps with mathematics, physics, and biology. Chemistry is an integral component of such applied sciences as pharmaceutical, biomedical, agricultural, environmental and material sciences. Students with a strong background in chemistry are at a significant advantage being able to work and apply their knowledge in these areas and a number of other related fields. In this context the Department of Chemistry has designed and offers a carefully planned syllabus to equip students with the required theoretical and practical knowledge. The department has 20 full-time Senior Faculty Members,  27 Temporary Assistant Lecturers & Demonstrators, 08Technical Officers, 02 Management Assistants 16 Lab Attendants and 01 Labourer.

Department of Chemistry

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Programs General Degree

The Department of Chemistry offers core and optional courses in chemistry for both physical science and biological science students. The core courses are designed to provide the foundation not only to further knowledge in chemistry but also in other related areas. The optional courses are designed to cover topics of general interest.

The department offers courses for three degree programs as given below. Course Syllabi

BSc Degree Program, 03-year duration:
Students have the opportunity of following courses in chemistry and at least two other subjects from physics, mathematics, statistics, zoology, plant sciences, nuclear science and computer science.

BSc Honours Degree Program, 04-year duration (Academic Orientation):
Areas of specialization are;

  • Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacy (in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo)

The programme provides an in-depth knowledge in the area of specialization and is designed to provide the knowledge required for further studies and employment.

BSc Honours Degree Program, 04-year duration (Industrial Orientation):
Students have the opportunity of specializing in the areas of;

  • Molecular Biology & Biotechnology

The programme is designed to cater to students who wish to find employment in industry.

MSc and Postgraduate Diploma Programs

The Department of Chemistry conducts three MSc/ Postgraduate Diploma programs.

  • The MSc/ Postgraduate Diploma Program in Analytical Chemistry. The programme was initiated in 1975 and is the oldest and longest running M.Sc. program in the country. Currently the annually intake is 40.
  • The MSc/ Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Organic Chemistry. The programme commenced in April 2006. The annual intake for this programme is 20.
  • The MSc/ Postgraduate diploma in Chemistry Education. The programme commenced in June 2007. The annual intake at present is 20.

MPhil / PhD Programs

The Department of Chemistry enrols students to pursue MPhil and PhD programs under the supervision of senior faculty members of the department. The number of students in these programs varies and depends on the availability of research grants and the facilities in the department.

Research and Services

Centre for Analytical Research and Development (CARD) was established in the department in collaboration with Dalhousie University, Canada in 1980. CARD is a central body that provides analytical services/ training/ consultancies to the industry and institutions in Sri Lanka. In addition, the lab also conducts contract research in analytical chemistry and related areas. This has undoubtedly contributed to the requirements of both the private and the public sectors of the country.

Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Laboratory (SLPL) was established as a collaborative project between the University of Colombo, Ministry of Industry & Commerce and the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in 2008. The laboratory provides services to industry and assists in research work carried out in the Faculty. 

Biotech: Products & Services (BTechS) which commenced in 2009 produces a range of molecular biology products and reagents for teaching and research. Consultancies, custom services and contract research in molecular biology and biochemistry are also undertaken by the laboratory.

Centre for Advanced Materials and Devices (CAMD) established in 2018 is a materials science research centre with state-of-the-art facilities. The work focusses on research and development of novel materials and technologies.  The centre also provides consultancy services to industry and other research institutions.

Extension Courses

The department conducts specialized courses/workshops to cater to the individual needs of industrial organizations and research institutes. These workshops are conducted as and when requested.


Academic Staff


Teaching Assistance


PG Students


Other Staff