BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

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Code Description
A The arts
See also: HPN “Aesthetics”
AB The arts: general issues
AC History of art / art and design styles
Note: use AC* codes in conjunction with other Arts codes, as appropriate; eg with codes from AF “Art forms”, AG “Art treatments and subjects”, AK “Industrial / commercial art and design”, AM “Architecture”
AF Art forms
Use AF* codes for ‘art book’ treatments. See also: WF “Handicrafts, decorative arts and crafts” for ‘how-to’ and hobbyist approaches
AG Art treatments and subjects
Note: with AG* codes, assign also the relevant code from AC “History of art / Art and design style” and/or from AF “Art forms”, as appropriate
AJ Photography and photographs
AK Industrial / commercial art and design
Use AK* codes with codes from AC “History of art / Art and design styles” where appropriate. Note: for Computer-aided design, use UGC “Computer-aided design (CAD)”. For interior design, use AMR “Professional interior design” or WJK “Interior design, decor and style guides” for general works
AM Architecture
AN Theatre studies
Note: for musical theatre, use AVGM “Musicals”; for playscripts and drama texts, use DD “Plays, playscripts”; for Shakespeare plays, use DDS “Shakespeare plays”
AP Film, TV and radio
Note: use AP* codes for performing arts aspects only; for media studies aspects, see JFD* codes; for film, TV and radio industries, see KNT* codes
AS Dance and other performing arts
AV Music

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