A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of History came into being in the University of Benin on the establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in July, 1975, when it was an integral part of that Faculty. It was initially made up of two sections – History and Creative Arts. In 1977, these two sections were constituted into two separate departments and the department of History in its present form came into existence. At the beginning of the 1982/83 academic year, two new, different but cognate disciplines, namely; Philosophy and Religious Studies were introduced to be fathered by the History department until such time that they can break away to stand as a full-fledged department on their own. The two new subject areas are expected to develop to offer single or combined honours Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies. The Philosophy Unit took off in the 1995/96 Session. The Religious Unit section took off in the 1997/98 Session. The department of Philosophy and Religions took off in the 2006/2007 session.
From the beginning of 1999/2000 academic session the department introduced two new programmes. These are an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Diplomacy, part-time and full-time; and a part-time diploma course in International Studies and Diplomacy.
Aims and Objectives
The teaching objectives of the department are to instill in the students a knowledge of African History in sufficient depth; to use this History as a springboard for studying the histories of other parts of the world; and to ensure a thorough understanding by students of how, as part of the world community, international developments affect their continent and country. The overall idea is to widen the horizon of the historian, to encourage a clearer interdisciplinary focus and to underline the fact that history is an essential part of the national development process. Though the central focus of the department is to produce Nigerian and African historians, there is built-in elasticity to enable students appreciate the major economic, political and social factors that have influenced historical developments in other parts of the world.
The department also recognizes the need to produce versatile historians who are acquainted with auxiliary and allied subjects or disciplines which will make the study of history fuller and more meaningful. Initially, the idea was to produce the conventional historian but with expanded facilities and staff, the department has continually addressed the need to produce other types of historian, like Historian/Archaeologist, Economic Historian, Diplomatic Historian, etc.
A. Bachelor of Arts Degree in History (B.A. History)
The department offers courses leading to the B.A. Single and Combined Honours Degree in the Faculty of Arts. Courses in History are also available for those taking the degree of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Arts, and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in the Social Sciences. Admission is offered to students in two ways: by entrance examination for the four-year programme and by direct entry for the three-year degree programme for the time being only. From the 1981/82 session, the four-year degree programme has constituted the standard academic programme of the department, although provision is still being made for the three-year degree programme.
Four-Year Degree Programme
This is for those who gain concessional admission by entrance Examination through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in addition to satisfying the University minimum entry requirements and the Faculty prescribed requirements which normally include the WestAfricanSchool certificate and the General Certificate of Education. For admission into the department, the candidate must have at least five Ordinary Level Credit passes in WASC, WAECSSCE/GCE, NECOSSCE or at least five merit-level passes in the Teachers Grade II (TC II) examinations or its recognized equivalent at not more than two sittings. The subjects should include English Language, History or Government, and any other Arts subject. Note that UME subjects are: (a) Use of English (b) History or Government, (c) One Arts subject and (d) any other subject.
Three-Year Degree Programme
In addition to the above, candidates who possess any of the following qualifications may be considered for admission:
At least two Advanced Level passes at the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) or the Higher School Certificate (H.S.C.) or a recognized equivalent qualification in History or Government, and any other related subject.
Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) with at least a credit level pass in History, Government or Social Studies from a recognized College of Education. In addition, candidates should have at least an overall credit-level pass.
At least a credit-level pass in the University of Benin Diploma in any of the following: Diploma in Public Administration (DPA) Diploma in Social work (DSW), Diploma in Theatre Arts (DTA) Diploma in Law (DIL), Diploma in International Studies and Diplomacy (DISD) or equivalent qualifications (at least an upper credit-level pass) from any other recognized University.
Combination of Courses
History courses can be combined with courses in the other Departments of the Faculty of Arts and in the Faculty of Social Sciences as may be approved from time to time.