External degrees in Sri Lanka

Courses, Degrees, Universities 200 33854

The easiest way of obtaining a degree in Sri Lanka is entering a National university based on your GCE A/L examination results. If you unable to enter State university as an internal student, still you can obtain a degree by registering as an external student. Such degrees are known as External Degrees. There are many external degrees offered by different national universities in Sri Lanka. The advantage of going for such a degree is you can do studies while engaging in employment or other educational course. After registering in the particular university, classes should be followed before sitting for the examinations. We will have a brief look at some recognized external degrees in Sri Lanka.

BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology) (Colombo)

This degree is offered by University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). It’s one of most popular external degrees in Sri Lanka. BIT is a degree programme which was introduced in year 2000. It has duration of 3 years. However you can obtain a diploma at end of 1st year as a part qualification. It is considered as nationally and internationally recognized information and communication qualification. A person with three passes in the G.C.E. (A/L) examination in one sitting and a credit pass for Mathematics in the G.C.E. (O/L) examination or any other academic/professional qualifications deemed equivalent to above could apply for this degree programme. Applicants should pass the selection test which consists of analytical, quantitative and communication skills. Then they would be enrolled for the BIT degree programme provided they are not less than 17 years of age.

B.Sc (Business Administration) (Jayewardenepura) Details…
This is another popular external degree in Sri Lanka offered by Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. It’s a university that offers the best Management courses in the country. Therefore each year large number of candidates get registered for this external degree. It’s conducted by Department of Business Administration. Course duration is 3 years. You should have at least 3 passes in A/L in one sitting. There are three other external degrees offered by University of Sri Jayewardenepura such as

Bachelor of Science Public Management (General) external Degree program (Sinhala/ English medium)

Conducted under the Department of Public Administration,University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Bachelor of Commerce (General) external Degree program (Sinhala medium)

Conducted under the Department of Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Bachelor of Arts (General) External Degree program

The first Examination in Arts degree is popularly known as the General Arts Qualifying (GAQ) Examination. This is common for all external B.A. degrees in Sri Lanka, such as BA Degree offered by University of Sri Jayewardeneura.

B.A(General/Special Degree) (Kelaniya)

Many universities in Sri Lanka offer B.A external degrees. Out of these, University of Kelaniya has started this programme in 1993. You have to first register for General degree and based on your performance at 1st year limited number of students will be registered for Special degree. You should have obtained at least 3 passes at GCE A/L examination together with 6 passes at GCE O/L including 3 Credit passes. (Maths should be Credit pass or above). Other recognized qualifications are also considered.

B.Sc (General) (Physical Science stream) (Kelaniya)

This is another degree offered by University of Kelaniya. There are two subject combinations which can be selected according to your preference. To enter this degree programme you should have obtained 3 passes at GCE A/L including Combined Mathematics. Candidates for External Degree Courses should have completed 18 years of age. A certified copy of the Birth Certificate should be forwarded with the application for registration. More…

B.Com (Special Degree) (Kelaniya)

Bachelor of Commerce is a theree year degree programme conducted by University of Kelaniya. Candidates who wish to follow this degree course, should register for the First Examination in Commerce. You should have obtained 3 passes at GCE A/L preferably in Commerce stream. At end of each degree year examinations are conducted. However there is no compulsion for external candidates to sit the prescribed examinations in every succeeding year. An external candidate (Only applicable for University of Kelaniya external degrees) successful at the degree examination in either Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Business Management (General) or Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Commerce (Special) will be considered for awarding the degree with a Second Class (Upper / Lower) or a First Class on the basis of the merits he/she earned. Notices regarding registration and examinations are published in the press annually. In accordance with such notices, candidates are strictly advised to apply for registration only on the prescribed form available from the External Examinations Branch of the University of Kelaniya. It is the responsibility of candidates to collect relevant application forms in time. Similarly University of Peradeniya also offers some external degrees. 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. Here we have mentioned only some of most popular external degrees offered by National universities in Sri Lanka. However there are many other external degrees offered by foreign universities such as BCS (IT). You can follow these degrees also if you have a satisfactory financial condition.

Related Courses:

Online degrees in Sri Lanka
CIMA – a quick guide
BIT External Degree from UCSC
Educational Loans by Sri Lankan banks
National Institute of Business Management-NIBM
Sri Lanka Law College
Technical education and vocational training



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  1. Sumudu අප්‍රියෙල් 14, 2015 at 9:55 පෙ.ව. -  Reply

    According to the Report by Anthony R. Kaye, Consultant to the Commonwealth of Learning (2002),
    In general, very little guidance, teaching, or support is provided by the Universities for their external students; in the main (there are a few exceptions) the students have to rely on the services of unregulated private institutes and ‘tutories’ for teaching support.

  2. Madurangi පෙබරවාරි 8, 2015 at 12:13 පෙ.ව. -  Reply

    Dear Sir,
    Im a student just after A/Lz (2014) commerce stream with grades of 2B & 1C.
    Im much intrigued in studying a diploma in industrial organization psychology.
    But im not aware if any of the local universities offers diplomas or degrees in psychology as an external degree.
    Please share your advise on a university that offers the diploma or if not, what is the most recommended private institute to follow such field.

    Im waiting for a prompt reply sir.
    Thank you 🙂

  3. R.C. Fernando පෙබරවාරි 4, 2015 at 6:25 ප.ව. -  Reply

    For External Degree English Medium Classes in Kandy contact the advertiser on 071-4395240.

  4. R.C. Fernando පෙබරවාරි 4, 2015 at 6:23 ප.ව. -  Reply

    G.A.Q. KELANIYA/J’pura (English Medium) for 2015/2016 just started at RCF English Academy, Katugastota Road, Kandy. (Mawilmada Junction). Classes are held on Sundays 10.30 – 1.00. Subjects: English, Sociology, Psychology, Linguistics. Contact: R.C. Fernando, 071-4395240

  5. R.C. Fernando පෙබරවාරි 4, 2015 at 6:22 ප.ව. -  Reply

    G.A.Q. KELANIYA (English Medium) just started at RCF English Academy, Katugastota Road, Kandy. (Mawilmada Junction). Classes are held on Sundays 10.30 – 1.00. Subjects: English, Sociology, Psychology, Linguistics. Contact: R.C. Fernando, 071-4395240

  6. Fayiz පෙබරවාරි 3, 2015 at 2:57 ප.ව. -  Reply

    I have 2 pass in A/l commerce streem.. I could’t get pass in Accounting… English ‘s’ .. Can i goin… Can i give to u this year pass only in accounting… If it posible

  7. miss.gunaratnam ජනවාරි 18, 2015 at 11:59 පෙ.ව. -  Reply

    when will call to G.A.Q degree ( 2O15 tamil medium) at peradeniya university?

  8. Arshad ජනවාරි 17, 2015 at 11:01 ප.ව. -  Reply

    Dear sir I have 3 passes in A/L can I do the B.COM online extanl degree in peradeniya university

  9. s. malarvily දෙසැම්බර් 2, 2014 at 9:28 ප.ව. -  Reply

    hi sir how can i register to G.A.Q degree ( 2O15 tamil mediem) at peradeniya university

  10. buddika නොවැම්බර් 20, 2014 at 10:59 පෙ.ව. -  Reply

    How can i get Bachelor of commerce external digree part 1 notes

  11. Padmi ජූලි 18, 2014 at 4:17 ප.ව. -  Reply

    how can i get BA Part 1 syllabuses

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