The Department of History of Kannur University was started in 2007 as Department of History and Heritage Studies. It was renamed as Department of History in 2018. Till 2015 it was run with Course Directors on deputation, assisted by guest faculty appointed on contract. The first permanent appointment was done in 2015 and Dr. Manjula Poyil took charge as the Head of the Department.
The Department offers MA and PhD programmes in History. Two year MA programme includes four semesters and has an intake of 25 students every year. There are four courses for every semester and a dissertation for the last semester. There are end-semester examinations and a viva voce examination after the successful completion of the last semester. 7-point grading system is followed. Study tour is a part of the academic programme; important historical/ archaeological sites across the country are visited and reports prepared by each student. PhD, full-time and part-time programmes are offered. There are three research centres in history under Kannur University (Department of History, Central Library, Thavakkara and IRISH, Nirmalagiri) with five recognized research guides and 15 fellows under their supervision. Three PhDs have been awarded by now and three others have submitted and are under scrutiny.
A landmark in the history of the Department was the hosting of the Indian History Congress in 2008. Around 1000 delegates from all over India attended the 3-day programme. The Department also has been organizing, on a regular basis, Seminars and Workshops, Extension Lectures and Coaching Classes, Field Visits and Cultural Programmes, and Exhibitions and Quiz/Essay competitions.