Proposal  and Student programme of study Classifications

The Research Councils use a harmonised classifications structure.

There are three parts to this classification:

1. Research Areas

These should be used to indicate the subject area(s) or disciplines relevant to the proposal or programme of study.

Research Areas are structured on three levels. For some subject areas all three levels have been defined, for others only two levels. The top-level – Research Area – should be used to navigate to the relevant subject areas.

Select the subject area(s) at the second level and/or third level where this is available. Please try to select terms at the lowest appropriate level to describe the subject area.

To find the appropriate subject areas either search the list of Research Areas, browse through it by expanding higher levels to identify those areas of most relevance or enter a search term and Select Filter.

Select up to five second-level Research Areas. Within the second-level Research Areas make as many selections at the third level as required. To add Research Areas, click in the corresponding check boxes then select Save

Having completed the selection, indicate the relevant importance of the research areas by either selecting one as a Primary area or by using Percentage Relevancies against each.

The primary classification must reflect one of the core disciplines/subject areas aligned to the Research Council to which they are applying.

Select “Save” from the top of the screen


2. Qualifiers

Qualifiers are terms that further describe the area of research. They are grouped by type, for example Approach (methodological approach), Geographic Area or Theoretical Methods.

Select as many Qualifiers as are relevant to enable the Research Councils to gain a more detailed understanding of the area of research/study.

To add a Qualifier, click in the corresponding check box then select “Save” from the top of the screen

AHRC Exception: A Time Period Qualifier is required if a Research Area within History has been selected .

MRC Exceptions: MRC uses only the Project Engagement by Sector Qualifier

3. Free-text Keywords

Please note: This section may not be available for all schemes.

Free-text keywords may be used to describe the subject area of the proposal in more detail.

Pre-defined terms should be used where available from the Research Area selection. Keywords should only be used where it is necessary to refine these further. You should first search for possible matches in Research Areas for your proposed keyword. If no match is found, you should add the keyword as free-text by selecting the Add New button.

You may add as many keywords in the free-text as appropriate. Once completed select “Save” from the top of the screen.