The need for a Department of English Language and Literature was felt as far back as 1932 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the University of the Punjab. Even earlier, two British Professors, Dr. Oliver Elton and Dr. Daniel Jones had visited Lahore with the specific purpose of creating interest in English Literature and language. The University of the Punjab had the tradition of coordinating the teaching resources available in various colleges in Lahore for a range of subjects including English. Following the formation of Pakistan, there was a change in policy and the University began to establish its own teaching departments to impact postgraduate education.
The Department of English Language and Literature was created through a proposal placed by the Vice Chancellor of the University before the Syndicate at a meeting held on November 10, 1962. Professor Siraj-ud-Din was the founder and the first Head of the Department. The Department gradually progressed to include different programmes relating to degrees in Literature, and diplomas in Linguistics, ELT, and Spoken Language Skills.
This expansive progress made way for the Department of English Language and Literature to become the Institute of English Studies in the year 2020.