Archived Page.

This page related to stage 1 of the project, which concluded in September 2014.

Although some of the key drivers for the project are problems with the JACS3 approach, the intention is to devise a new approach to subject identification that has the widest possible range of uses, and not simply to provide a replacement for JACS.

This wider range of uses includes, but is not limited to, better support for existing practice and support for new uses in the following areas:

  • statistics to support planning at sector and institution level;
  • applications and admissions processes;
  • discovery and management of learning resources;
  • research management;
  • student information, advice, and guidance;
  • educational technology, including learning analytics.

We would like to thank those people who commented in Stage 1. We have taken your comments on-board.

In respect of biomedical sciences, we have added this to the draft scheme for stage 2 consultation.


2 thoughts on “Uses

  1. Dear Colleagues, in spite of the predominance of Biomedical Science programmes in UK universities, there is still no JACS code for the subject and because the National Student Survey is based on JACS codes our confused students find that they report under Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology. JACS codes are used in other ways that serve the subject area of Biomedical Science poorly and I suspect that the lack of a JACS code for Biomedical Science may be the reason that on the new Unistats site, that publishes the Key Information Sets on the various degree programmes offered by UK universities, Biomedical Science has no specific link under either Medicine & Dentistry or Nursing & Medical Related Subjects. Indeed, the latter has a link to the JACS code related Anatomy Physiology and Pathology but ironically this path only lists a few of the hundreds of Biomedical Science courses. I hope that the system chosen to update or replace JACS coding will reflect the major study areas currently offered by our universities.
    Many thanks,
    Tom Gardner

  2. a. Subject identification schemes are used for a wide-range of purposes, including as a basis for institutional comparison and rankings (e.g. League tables, NSS, KIS, DLHE), therefore of fundamental importance to a subject coding system, is that is used consistently across the sector and minimizes the scope for ‘game-playing’. Otherwise the usefulness of information derived from a coding scheme is compromised.

    b. Aggregation of data spanning two or more years has created problems (particularly in NSS), since JACS3 replaced JACS2, due to mappings between groupings of codes within JACS2 differing from those within JACS3. There is also difficulty in mapping data across years in KIS due to changes in JACS coding, which has resulted in only high level NSS and DLHE information being displayed for many courses, and it not being made clear to prospective students that information displayed on KIS may be aggregated to a higher level. Mapping an entirely new coding system to the JACS system, which would need to be done in order to e.g. compare historical data, could create wider-reaching problems of this nature.

    c. A subject identification scheme should be applied consistently across different strands of data (e.g. staff, students, finance), to enable useful calculation of statistics derived across multiple strands (e.g. staff: student ratio).

    d. A subject identification system should strike a balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness. If it is too complex, users will not understand the data and not apply it consistently, if it is too broad-brush it will not provide meaningful information.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s