The department rose from the Research Department of History of Ukrainian Culture, which was founded in Kharkiv in 1921 and had been headed by academician D.Bagaliy for many years. At that time there were four sections at the department: the Section of History of Ukraine, (headed by D. Bagaliy), the History of Ukrainian Law (headed by Full Professor M. Maksymejko), History of Russia (headed by Full Professor V. Veretennikov), and the Ethnography and Studies of Region Section(headed by Full Professor O.Vetukhov). After the Historical School renovation in1933, the Department of History of USSR and Ukrainian SSR was set up .At first it was headed by M. Redin and later till 1945 by Associate Professor I.D. Boyko. The department became a methodical and scientific centre of History of Russia and Ukraine Studies in Kharkiv. In 1957 the Department of History of Ukrainian SSR separated from the Department of History of USSR into a detached unit (from 1989 the Department of History of Ukraine). It was headed by Full Professor I. Rybalka for 32 years (until September 1989).
Students started to graduate the department. Annually 12-15 students wrote theses on history of Ukraine. The foundation of the department demanded more purposeful and fundamental work on provision of work books, manuals and text books for courses of studies.
From 1989 till 1994 the department was headed by Full Professor B. Mygal. In those years
Doctor of Letters (History), Full Professor I. Rybalka, Associate Professors such as M. Berduta, V. Butenko, V. Kalinichenko, V. Kravchenko, S. Naumov, A. Skorobogatov taught at the department.
In November 1994 V. Kalinichenko upheld his doctoral dissertation and since December of the same year he headed the Department of History of Ukraine.
In 2006 A. Skorobagatov upheld his doctoral dissertation and in 2007 S. Naumov also upheld his doctoral disseratation.