The first Military Governor of Rivers State, Commander Alfred P. Diete-Spiff promulgated Edict No. 10 of 1975 which converted the erstwhile Advanced Teachers' Training College to Rivers state College of Education to train higher calibre professional teachers for the state educational system. The state College of Education admitted students in the 1975/1976 Academic Year with History as one of the' pioneer disciplines of study to award the Nigerian Certificate in Education (N.C.E.) in combination with any other discipline in the Arts or Social Sciences.
The History Department offered N.C.E. (Full Time) programme for 3 academic sessions; N.C.E. (Part Time or Sandwich) programme for 4 years and 4-Years B.Ed. (Full Time) and Direct Entry B.Ed. 3-Years programme for candidates with N.C.E. certificate in History. In addition, the Department offered 3-Year Post-N.C.E. (Sandwich). All admissions into the N.C.E. (Full Time and Part Time); 4-Year B.Ed and 3-Year Post-N.C.E. B.Ed Programme are being handled by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). History N.C.E. graduates were among the four hundred and sixty-two (462) pioneer graduates in 1977. At inception, the Department offered the following:
History/Christian Religious Studies
History/Fine and Applied Arts
History/Social Studies was added in 1982/1983 session
The History Department began in 1975 with Prof. A. Halliburton, a Canadian, as Head of Department. Ven. Dr. K.O. Amadi, Rev. Canon LA. Nwankwo. Dr. Ibiba Sastrne, Dr. C.M. Sorgwe. and Mr. Philip Agbayorne as members of academic staff. During the 1980/81 session. Messrs Opubo Damlnabo, G .0. Sokari George. Nwari Wazim. Magnus Elechl and M.E. Onyegbuchi were added to the academic staff and the academic strength of the Department was boosted with the deployment of Messrs M.E. Okeremeta, Afolabi Aboyewa. Henry Nwosu and Ahmed Y. Tanko as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to the Department during the 1982/1983 session. In the 1981/82 academic year, candidates were admitted for the degree programme in History (B.Ed. History) affiliated to the University of Ibadan, and in 1984. History B.Ed. graduates were among the thirty-five (35) graduates that successfully graduated from the Rivers State College of Education.
The B.Ed. History Degree programme has passed through moderation, supervision and guidance of the University of Ibadan until 2009/2010 academic year when the Rivers State government enacted an Act establishing the Rivers State University of Education, now Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. to award B.A Ed degree in History and Diplomatic Studies in response to changing realities of modern academic disciplines.
The establishment of this autonomous University of Education brought to an end twenty-seven (27) years of affiliation to the Nigerian premier university, the University of Ibadan.
History and diplomatic studies as a distinct discipline provide holistic approach to the study of diverse polities both in ancient and contemporary times. With a hindsight of the past, it provides the academic equipment for analyzing present societal realities that confront mankind in a global context and reposition him to tackle future challenges. The Department provides high quality professional history teachers for the nation's secondary and tertiary institutions. Taking cognizance of the dynamic nature of society, the Department employs the inter-disciplinary scholarship to fortify students with viable tools that will enable them to function effectively as teachers, administrators or diplomats on graduation. The Department basically adopts Afrocentric approach with a sense of objectivity on themes centered on African continent vis-a-vis the wider world.
On the basis of a sound intellectual exercise, the Department is programmed to expedite effort in the preservation and projection of indigenous histories and culture through meaningful and well-articulated research endeavours for overall human and material development.
In the pursuit of relevance in a changing world, the diplomatic studies component is anchored to address major themes affecting the international community in contemporary times.
The vision of the Department is to strive to remain a renowned academic and socially relevant Historical and Diplomatic centre of excellence that will be internationally ranked among the best specialized higher institution of education.
The Department is committed to training very high calibre graduate teachers and diplomats of international repute in character and learning through quality teaching and inculcation of noble and professional values as envisaged by the founding fathers, in a bid to create an academic platform that will promote the cross-fertilization of ideas in history and diplomacy in a dynamic Society.
The avowed objectives of the Department are as follows:
To qualify for admission into the B.A. Education Degree programme of the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, the candidate must possess a minimum of five (5) Ordinary Level credit at the G.C.E.; WAEC/SSCE or NECO or a combination of these, including English Language, History or Government at not more than two sittings, or has obtained a pass in Remedial Programme of the Department in addition to the above or an N.C.E. Certificate which qualifies the candidate into the two hundred (200) level of the degree programme. A candidate for the M.A. programme must obtain a First Class, Second Class Upper or Second Class Lower with a CGPA of 3.5, while Ph.D candidates must obtain a minimum of 3.5 in Master’s Degree in a 5 point scale or 4.0 in a 7 point scale.