1297.0 - Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2008   
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The ANZSRC FOR allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the methodology used in the R&D, rather than the activity of the unit performing the R&D or the purpose of the R&D.

The categories in the classification include major fields and related sub-fields of research and emerging areas of study investigated by businesses, universities, tertiary institutions, national research institutions and other organisations.

This classification allows the categorisation of fields of research activity within Australia and New Zealand.


The FOR is a hierarchical classification with three levels, namely Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Fields (6 digits). Each level is identified by a unique number.

Each Division is based on a broad discipline. Groups within each Division are those which share the same broad methodology, techniques and/or perspective as others in the Division. Each Group is a collection of related Fields of research. Groups and Fields of research are categorised to the Divisions sharing the same methodology rather than the Division they support.

The hierarchical structure of the FOR is illustrated below:

Division09 Engineering
Group0901 Aerospace Engineering
Field090101 Aerodynamics (excl. Hypersonic Aerodynamics)


The conceptual framework adopted for the development of the FOR uses R&D activities according to the field in which research is undertaken and based on the processes and techniques used in the R&D.

In the interests of international statistical comparisons, the FOR classification, as far as is practicable, aligns at the two digit Division level with the OECD's Fields of Science 2007 classification.

This development started with the ASRC 1998, and identified research categories that reported very little funding in the past three ABS R&D surveys were either merged with other categories or deleted, but only in consultation with experts in the respective fields. Alternatively, Divisions or Groups which are highly active, as judged by experts and evidenced in ABS surveys, and able to be split further have been disaggregated into new Groups and Fields allowing for greater detail of data to be collected. Additional fields of research identified by experts as emerging and significant have been added.

In parallel, research categories significant in New Zealand assembled by Statistics NZ from consultations with their stakeholders have been incorporated.


Consistent use of the following general procedures should ensure consistent and successful use of the classification among users.

A research project or research program is to be allocated to a FOR field in a hierarchical manner. This is achieved by:
  • first determining the division in which the largest component of the research project or research program is being performed; then
  • determining the most relevant group within that division; and then
  • determining the most relevant field within that group.

Many R&D projects will be a homogeneous body of work in a specific field. These are more straightforward to categorise. However, the emergence of new interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary fields of research is a feature of the modern R&D environment, both within Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere in the world. The categorisation of such fields within a hierarchical and exclusive classification system can pose difficulties for users of the FOR. The use of multiple fields to classify a research project ensures that this research is accommodated within the classification structure.

If the project or program is sufficiently large or complex (in terms of research areas) then multiple fields should be selected and attributed with a proportion of resources relative to the project's or program's total R&D expenditure. If the disaggregation is difficult, consideration of relative importance may indicate a primary field only (whether a specific or more general subject focus).

Where a defined field cannot be identified within a group for a research project or research program, the 'not elsewhere classified' category at the field level is to be used.

      01 Mathematical Sciences
      02 Physical Sciences
      03 Chemical Sciences
      04 Earth Sciences
      05 Environmental Sciences
      06 Biological Sciences
      07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
      08 Information and Computing Sciences
      09 Engineering
      10 Technology
      11 Medical and Health Sciences
      12 Built Environment and Design
      13 Education
      14 Economics
      15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
      16 Studies in Human Society
      17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
      18 Law and Legal Studies
      19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
      20 Language, Communication and Culture
      21 History and Archaeology
      22 Philosophy and Religious Studies

At times it can be useful to view groupings of fields of research from alternative perspectives, which do not align with the FOR division structure.


Besides the primary structure, alternative groupings are provided to aid the understanding of research from different cultural perspectives which are unique to Australia and New Zealand.

The following alternative groupings of selected FOR fields are provided here:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Maori Studies
  • Pacific Peoples Studies

Definition of Pacific Peoples

Note: "Pacific peoples" are those people who identify with or feel they belong to one or more Pacific ethnicities. The term applies to a person who has emigrated from one of the lesser islands of the Pacific to Australia or New Zealand, or one of their descendants born in Australia or New Zealand. While the majority of these people originate from Polynesia, others come from Micronesia and Melanesia. This definition excludes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and New Zealand Maori.

      050201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge
      080601 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information and Knowledge Systems
      080701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledge Management
      110403 Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicine and Treatments
      111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
      130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
      160501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy
      169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society
      180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law
      190401 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts
      200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
      200319 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages
      200501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature
      210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
      210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History

      050208 Maori Environmental Knowledge
      080613 Maori Information and Knowledge Systems
      110405 Traditional Maori Medicine and Treatments
      111713 Maori Health
      130104 Kura Kaupapa Maori (Maori Primary Education)
      130107 Te Whariki (Maori Early Childhood Education)
      130206 Kohanga Reo (Maori Language Curriculum and Pedagogy)
      130310 Maori Education (excl. Early Childhood and Primary Education)
      169904 Studies of Maori Society
      170108 Kaupapa Maori Psychology
      180201 Nga Tikanga Maori (Maori Customary Law)
      180202 Te Maori Whakahaere Rauemi (Maori Resource Law)
      180203 Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi)
      180204 Te Ture Whenua (Maori Land Law)
      180299 Maori Law not elsewhere classified
      190405 Maori Performing Arts
      200207 Maori Cultural Studies
      200321 Te Reo Maori (Maori Language)
      200504 Maori Literature
      210109 Maori Archaeology
      210309 Maori History

      050210 Pacific Peoples Environmental Knowledge
      080614 Pacific Peoples Information and Knowledge Systems
      111715 Pacific Peoples Health
      130311 Pacific Peoples Education
      169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
      190410 Pacific Peoples Performing Arts
      200210 Pacific Cultural Studies
      200320 Pacific Languages
      200507 Pacific Literature
      210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
      210313 Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori)