Codes and Classifications

Australia and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

ANZSRC is a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken in Australia and New Zealand.

Classifications are:

1.    Field of Research (FoR),
2.    Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) and
3.    Type of Activity (ToA).

Academic staff may be requested to nominate FoR and SEO codes when making grant submissions, or for their research outputs to enable comparison of research internationally and nationally across disciplines as well as for external reporting to government to secure infrastructure funding.

ANZSRC 2020 Coding changes

The Australian Research Council (ARC) released the revised Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC 2020) after consultation in 2019 and early 2020. The revised classifications are now available for download on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.  
Major changes to the Fields of Research classification include:
•    Splitting Division 11 Medicine Division into two new Divisions, Biomedical and clinical sciences and Health Sciences
•    Introduction of a new Division to capture Indigenous studies, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples research
•    Removal of the Division 10 Technology
•    A number of Divisions, including Information and computing sciences, Psychology, and Law and legal studies, have been substantially updated.

Major changes to the Socio-Economic Objectives classification include:
•    Removing the top ‘Sector’ level of the classification and associated letter codes
•    Splitting Division 96 Environment into two new Divisions, Environmental Management and Environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards
•    Introduction of a new Division to capture Indigenous outcomes.

Type of Research categories remain unchanged in content, but their respective definitions have been updated to align with the OECD Frascati Manual classification.
Classifications have been completely renumbered to streamline use and reduce confusion between the old and new versions of ANZSRC.

These changes result in an updated, accurate statistical classification system that reflects changes in research practices over the last decade and will support long-term usage. For further detail of the process and scope of changes please see the ANZSRC Review 2020 Outcomes Paper.

Field of Research (FoR) codes

FoR codes are a hierarchical classification of research. As identified in ANZSRC, research disciplines are defined as two, four and six-digit Fields of Research (FoR) codes. The ANZSRC provides 22 two-digit FoR codes, 157 four-digit FoR codes, and an extensive range of six-digit codes.

The codes comprise three levels: Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Fields (6 digits) as illustrated below. 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.

Hierarchical level

Field of Research


31 Biological sciences


3103 Ecology


310301 Behavioural ecology

Learn more about FoR codes on the Australia Research Council website.

Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) codes

The ANZSRC SEO classification allows R&D activity in Australia and New Zealand to be categorised according to the intended purpose or outcome of the research rather than the processes or techniques used in order to achieve this objective.

The purpose categories include processes, products, health, education and other social and environmental aspects in Australia and New Zealand that R&D activity aims to improve.

The SEO is a hierarchical classification with three levels, namely Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Objectives (6 digits) as illustrated below.

Hierarchical level                   

Socio-Economic Objectives


20 Health


2003 Provision of health and support services


200307 Nursing

Learn more about SEO codes on the Australia Research Council website.

Type of Activity (ToA) codes

There are four types of R&D activity included in this classification:
•    Pure basic research
•    Strategic basic research
•    Applied research
•    Experimental development

Where possible, a research project or research program should be allocated to a single type of activity. If the project or program is large and involves multiple types of activity, then each relevant activity category should be attributed a proportion of resources relative to the project’s or research program’s total R&D expenditure.

Learn more about ToA codes on the Australia Research Council website.

Learn more

To assist in understanding the detailed structure and content of ANZSRC, and to assist in interpreting statistics classified to it, the following information has been provided on the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site.

•    references to the conceptual basis of ANZSRC;
•    description of the principal differences between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020;
•    correspondences between ANZSRC 2008 and ANZSRC 2020;
•    correspondences between ANZSRC and NABS, and ANZSRC and FORD;
•    explanation of the classification structure and codes; and
•    inclusion of ANZSRC definitions and explanatory notes (within the attached datacubes).

StatsNZ makes ANZSRC available in its concept and classification management system, Ariâ. Users can download ANZSRC in additional formats to the Excel datacubes published by the ABS.

A high level of comparability has been maintained with ANZSRC 2008 in an effort to minimise disruption to data collection. The framework and conceptual basis of ANZSRC has been strengthened to improve coverage, coherence and consistency. Significant improvements have been made to the classification to capture emerging areas of research.