BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

Looking for Thema or ONIX?

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1, released November 2010, the legacy classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets. Details of the scheme are 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. All organisations currently using this BIC subject scheme are strongly advised to migrate to using Thema. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

See the Search hints below

Code Description
E English language teaching (ELT)
Note: use E* codes only for works specifically designed for the teaching and learning of English as a foreign or second language; includes TEFL, ESL, TOEFL, IELTS, TOIEC. Use for both Adult and Children’s material. Language qualifier required only if specific variant of English is indicated, eg American English, or for bi-lingual texts/dictionaries, eg English/Spanish. With E* codes, use appropriate Educational Purpose qualifier indicating examination / qualification wherever possible. Do not use “E” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section E below
EL ELT: learning material and coursework
ELS ELT self-study texts

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