Sri Lanka has produced some of the most valued gemstones and possesses some of the best quality mineral deposits known to the mankind. Although the gem and mineral based industries are established in Sri Lanka, considerable proportion of this mineral wealth is exported at very low prices without adequate processing and value addition. Due to self-insufficiency or inadequate technology to exploit and process its own mineral resources, some of the mineral-based industries in Sri Lanka have to import certain raw materials at extremely high costs. In this regard, creation of opportunities for postgraduate training and research in the fields of gemmology and industrial minerals has been a long-felt need.
Having recognised this need, an M.Sc Programme in Gemmology was on offer since 1997/1998. Although two batches of students opted for this course, due to extremely limited number of graduates embarking on a gemmology-related field, this offer is currently not adequately made use of. On the contrary, the number of science graduates entering other mineral-based industries is rising, but presently they lack opportunities for training and research in the field of industrial minerals. Therefore, the present M.Sc. Programmes have been designed to cater to these fluctuating demands for postgraduate training and research in the fields of Gemmology and Industrial Minerals.