Department of Economics has a long history as long as the history of the Vidyodaya University which started in 1959. Initially, there were five faculties in the Vidyodaya University and the Department of Economics was one of the founder departments in the Faculty of Arts while the faculty was renamed twice, as “Faculty of Arts” in 1978 and as “Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2008.

The department continuously offered Economics Special degree since at the beginning and offered Postgraduate courses. Undergraduate programs in Social Statistics and Political Science were initiated at the Department of Economics and later on they separated as independent departments. Prof. S. Thilakarathne, Prof. P. Wilson, Prof. W.A. Jayathissa, Prof. P. Athukorala, Prof. Upali Wickramasinghe are few of the scholars who held the position of Head of the Department in the Department of Economics.