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.

See the Search hints below

Code Description
Y Children’s, teenage and educational
Do not use “Y” on individual books. Select appropriate code(s) from Section Y below
YQ Educational material
Do not use “YQ” on individual books, but select from YQ* codes below. With YQ* codes, ALWAYS use assign also appropriate Educational Purpose qualifier. For teacher’s classroom resources, use JNUM “Teachers’ classroom resources and material” plus appropriate YQ* code(s). For home learning material, use 4Y. Use YQ* codes for primary and secondary educational material up to and including minimum school leaving age (GCSE in England and Wales, Standard Grade in Scotland); for further education, advanced level and vocational qualifications, use adult categories
YQA Educational: Art and design
YQB Educational: Music
YQC Educational: English language and literacy
YQD Educational: drama studies
Class here: playscripts for schools
YQE Educational: English literature
YQF Educational: Languages other than English
YQG Educational: Geography
YQH Educational: History
YQJ Educational: Social sciences
Class here: sociology, social sciences, modern studies. See YQN for ‘Citizenship’
YQM Educational: Mathematics and numeracy
YQN Educational: Citizenship and social education
See also: YQJ “Educational: Social sciences”
YQR Educational: Religious studies
YQS Educational: Sciences, general science
YQT Educational: Technology
YQV Educational: Business studies and economics
YQW Educational: Physical education (including dance)
YQX Educational: General studies / study skills general
YQY Educational: Vocational subjects
Use for all vocational subjects (unless listed separately) taught in schools, eg health care, leisure and tourism, etc
YQZ Educational: study and revision guides
Use for ALL study and revision guides, with code above indicating subject where possible

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