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RAE96 3/94 1996 Research Assessment Exercise: Units of Assessment

 
To	Heads of HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW funded Institutions  
	Heads of DENI funded Universities 
 
Summary	This Circular lists and describes the units of assessment 
that will be used in the 1996  Research Assessment Exercise. 
 
Reference	RAE96 3/94 
 
Publication Date	November 1994 
 
Response by 	No response is required 
 
Enquiries to		HEFCE - Paul Hubbard (0117 931 7334) 
			SHEFC - Morag Campbell (0131 3136567) 
			HEFCW - Ann Hughes (01222 761861) 
			NIHEC - June Ingram (01247 279333) 
	 
Further copies		External Relations, HEFCE (0117 931 7339) 
 
Introduction 
 
1.	Circular RAE96 1/94, published in June 1994, provided information 
about the framework and data requirements for the next Research 
Assessment Exercise (RAE). At the same time a consultation paper 
(RAE96 2/94) was issued inviting comments on two outstanding aspects 
of the conduct of the RAE: 
 
a.	The number and description of units of assessment (UOAs). 
 
b.	The list of bodies (subject associations, learned societies, 
professional bodies and organisations representing industrial, 
business and other users of research) to be invited to propose 
candidates for membership of assessment panels. 
 
2.	Over 280 replies to the consultation paper were received from 
higher education institutions (HEIs) and other organisations.   
 
3.	This circular lists and describes the UOAs that will be used in 
the 1996 RAE. The funding bodies will invite appropriate organisations 
to nominate panel members before the end of 1994. 
 
Background 
 
4.	The funding bodies held a common consultation in June 1993 
inviting comments on a number of broad issues concerning the future 
conduct of research assessment. Responses to this consultation 
endorsed the view that the 72 UOAs used in the 1992 RAE provided an 
appropriate starting point for the next RAE as they offered HEIs a 
reasonably close fit between UOAs and research groupings. However, 
some small alterations to the framework might be desirable to reflect 
concerns in certain subjects, to capture properly the current layout 
of the research "map" and to reflect emerging disciplines. 
Consultation Paper RAE96 2/94, published in June 1994, invited 
comments on the provisional proposals of the funding bodies. These, 
together with their decisions following the consultation, are set out 
at Annex A.  
 
5.	A complete list of UOAs, together with descriptions of their scope 
is given in Annex B. The descriptions are given to help ensure that 
research of a similar nature is submitted consistently to the same 
UOAs and assessed by the same panels: they are not intended to be 
definitive. 
 
Application of Publication Periods to UOAs 
 
6.	Circular RAE96 1/94 (page 4, paragraph 25c) explained that each 
named member of staff in post on 31 March 1996 would be allowed to 
list the details of up to four works. The Circular stated that to be 
eligible for inclusion in submissions, works would have to be produced 
during the period 1 January 1990 to 31 March 1996, in the case of arts 
and humanities subjects; and 1 January 1992 to 31 March 1996, in the 
case of all other subjects. For this purpose, arts and humanities 
subjects are taken to be UOAs 45 to 67. Staff included within 
submissions made to these units may list details of works produced 
over the longer period; staff returned within submissions to units 1 
to 44, 68 and 69 may only cite details of works produced during the 
shorter period.  
 
Enquiries 
 
7.	HEIs are asked to identify a central contact point for the RAE. 
This person should act as an initial contact point within HEIs for 
enquiries. If queries remain, then he or she should contact:  
 
	Morag Campbell (0131 3136567) at SHEFC 
 
	Ann Hughes (01222 761861) at HEFCW 
 
	June Ingram (01247 279333) at NIHEC (on behalf of DENI) 
 
8.	Further copies of this circular can be obtained from External 
Relations, HEFCE (telephone 0117 931 7339, fax 0117 931 7463). 



 
Annex A 
Provisional Proposals Outlined in Consultation Paper RAE96 2/94 and 
Decisions on UOAs to be used in the 1996 RAE 
 
Consultation Paper RAE96 2/94 invited comments on: 
 
a.	Proposals to make the following changes to the UOAs used in the 
1992 RAE: 
 
i.	Merge Biological Sciences, Genetics and Microbiology into one UOA.  
 
ii.	Expand American Studies to include Latin American Area Studies, 
but keep Latin American Languages as part of the Spanish UOA.  
	 
iii.	Expand Physical Education and Sports 	Science to include Leisure, 
Recreation and Sports Studies, and also incorporate hospitality 
management and tourism 	(formerly covered under the Business and 
Management UOA) within this UOA. 
 
b.	Proposals not to make the following changes to the UOAs used in 
the 1992 RAE: 
 
i.	Merge Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Community based Clinical 
Subjects and Hospital based Clinical Subjects into one UOA.  
	 
ii.	Create a new Biomedical Sciences UOA.  
 
iii.	Broaden Veterinary Science to incorporate animal related science.  
 
iv.	Merge Pure, Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Operational 
Research to form one UOA.  
 
v.	Merge Social and Economic History and History to form one UOA.  
	 
vi.	Separate Politics from International Relations. 
	 
vii.	Sub-divide Business and Management Studies. 
 
viii.	Create a new UOA for Area Studies and Development Studies.  
 
c.	The description of UOAs, in order that these might be amended to 
ensure that the boundaries between particular UOAs might be more 
clearly marked, and that emerging subjects and disciplines not 
referred to in the guidance issued for the 1992 RAE be taken into 
account. 
 
Units of assessment for the 1996 RAE 
 
Consequent to the responses received to Consultation Paper RAE96 2/94 
the funding bodies have agreed to make the following changes to the 
structure of UOAs for the 1996 RAE: 
 
a.	Create a single UOA for all Biological Sciences. Although some 
HEIs retain separate departments of Genetics and Microbiology, the 
current trend is towards unification of the Biological Sciences. A 
single UOA would recognise the cross-disciplinary nature of much 
research conducted within the Biological Sciences.  In exceptional 
circumstances those HEIs with separate departments of Genetics and/or 
Microbiology may be allowed, with the agreement of the funding bodies, 
to make multiple submissions to the Biological Sciences UOA.   
 
b.	Broaden the American Studies UOA to include Latin American Area 
Studies.  Latin American Languages (both European based and indigenous 
languages) will continue to be submitted to the Spanish UOA. This will 
help to ensure research is returned to UOAs on a consistent basis.  In 
the 1992 RAE Latin American Studies was included under the Spanish 
UOA. Assessment proved problematical as, while the latter subject is 
language based, the same is not always true of the former. The 
relatively small volume of research in Latin American Studies 
prohibits the creation of a separate UOA.  
 
c.	Create a Sports Related Subjects UOA to which physical education, 
sport science, leisure, recreation and sports studies is to be 
returned.  In the 1992 RAE the Physical Education and Sports Science 
UOA was narrowly defined in terms of research relating to physical, 
biological and behavioural sciences. While the UOA should continue to 
cover these scientific studies of sport, there is a need to ensure 
that work relating to economics, sociology and other social science 
disciplines is adequately catered for. Hospitality management, tourism 
and home economics are not to be submitted to this UOA, but should be 
returned to the Business and Management Studies UOA, as in the 1992 
RAE.  
 
d.	Discontinue Economic and Social History as a separate UOA. Social 
history is to be returned to the History UOA; economic history, 
depending on its nature, is to be submitted to either the Economics 
and Econometrics UOA or the History UOA (see the descriptions of these 
UOAs as set out in Annex B). Many institutional structures do not 
distinguish between economic and social history and history: hence 
their tendency to submit the former within submissions made to the 
History UOA in the 1992 RAE.  In exceptional circumstances those HEIs 
with separate departments of Economic History or Economic and Social 
History may be allowed, with the agreement of the funding bodies, to 
make multiple submissions to the History UOA. However, there may be 
some economic historians, particularly those whose research is based 
on quantitative theory and methods, whose work it would not be 
appropriate to assess within the History UOA. These should be returned 
to the Economics and Econometrics UOA. 
 
e.	Make a number of detailed alterations in the descriptions of some 
UOAs in order to clarify their content.  



 
Annex B - Units of Assessment 
 
UOA Number	Title and description			Mapping onto 	
							1992 UOAs 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
1	Clinical Laboratory Sciences				1 
 
	Including histopathology, clinical microbiology and virology, 
	chemical pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical  
	immunology, clinical physics, medical genetics,  
	forensic medicine and forensic pathology  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
2	Community based Clinical Subjects			2 
 
	Including psychiatry, general practice, public 		 
	health/community epidemiology, medical statistics,  
	occupational and industrial medicine. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
3	Hospital based Clinical Subjects			3 
 
	All other clinical subjects based wholly or chiefly  
	in hospitals and not included under Clinical Laboratory  
	Sciences (UOA 1) or Community based Clinical Subjects  
	(UOA 2). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
4	Clinical Dentistry					4 
	 
	All clinical dental subjects including dental  
	materials science. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
5	Pre Clinical Studies					5 
 
	May include behavioural sciences (psychology and  
	sociology as applied to medicine) and basic dental  
	sciences. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
6	Anatomy							6 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
7	Physiology						7 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
8	Pharmacology						8 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
9	Pharmacy						9 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
10	Nursing							10 
	 
	Including midwifery and health visiting 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
11	Other Studies and Professions Allied to Medicine	11 
 
	Including biomedical sciences, nutrition, optometry,  
	occupational therapy, speech and language therapy,  
	art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, physiotherapy, 
	health promotion and other professions allied to medicine. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
12	Biochemistry						12 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
13	Psychology						13 
 
	Includes all aspects of contemporary psychology across  
	the range of experimental, developmental, biological,  
	social and applied psychology. Covers clinical, educational,  
	health and occupational psychology and cognitive science 
	where the focus of work lies within the discipline of  
	psychology rather than within medicine, education,  
	ergonomics/management, or computing/linguistics. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
14	Biological Sciences				14, 15, 16	 
			 
	Biological sciences encompasses animal and plant  
	sciences, molecular biology, cell biology, animal and  
	plant physiology, behaviour, ecology, population biology, 
	systematics, taxonomy, biophysics, biotechnology,  
	neuroscience, marine biology, botany, zoology and  
	paristology. Includes genetics: molecular genetics,  
	microbial genetics, plant and animal genetics,  
	developmental genetics, population and ecological  
	genetics. Also includes microbiology: microbial genetics,  
	microbial development and differentiation, microbial  
	physiology and microbial ecology.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
15	Agriculture						17 
	 
	The utilisation of rural resources for the purpose of food  
	and non-food production. It includes the production of  
	animals and animal products, including their breeding and  
	nutrition, but does not include studies relating to the  
	diagnosis and control of animal diseases (see Veterinary  
	Science (UOA 17). It includes the supporting sciences of  
	botany, zoology, genetics, and economics, where these are  
	studied in the context of the production and processing of  
	food and non-food products. Includes horticulture and  
	soil science. Includes forestry and aquaculture. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
16	Food Science and Technology				18 
			 
	Includes the sciences related to the processing of  
	food post farm-gate and catering 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
17	Veterinary Science					19 
	 
	The group of animal related subjects which comprise  
	and contribute to the professional practice of veterinary  
	medicine. This may include the preclinical veterinary  
	sciences where these are studied in this context, but  
	does not include them where the main thrust is towards  
	Agriculture (UOA 15) or Food Science and Technology  
	(UOA 16). Includes para clinical veterinary science and  
	tropical animal health. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
18	Chemistry						20 
			 
	Organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and theoretical  
	chemistry, including biological chemistry, catalysis, 
	colour chemistry, applied chemistry, organometallic  
	chemistry, surface chemistry and laboratory based  
	atmospheric chemistry. Includes synthetic, structural,  
	physico-chemical studies and computer modelling and  
	calculations. 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
19	Physics							21	 
			 
	Including theoretical physics, condensed matter  
	(solids and liquids), high energy physics, nuclear  
	physics, astronomy, astrophysics, classical and quantum  
	optics, lasers, cryophysics, applied physics and medical  
	physics. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
20	Earth Sciences						22 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
21	Environmental Studies					23 
	 
	Includes environmental sciences, meteorology,  
	oceanography, polar studies, environmental technology  
	and ecology. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
22	Pure Mathematics					24 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
23	Applied Mathematics					25 
	 
	Includes biomathematics, engineering mathematics, 
	mathematical physics and theoretical mechanics. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
24	Statistics and Operational Research			26 
	 
	Including probability as well as statistics of a specialist  
	applied nature (such as actuarial, demographic, medical, 
	management and social) and Operational Research. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
25	Computer Science					27 
			 
	Computer Science includes, but is not limited to,  
	the theoretical and practical study of algorithms, 
	programming languages, programming systems and  
	applications, computer hardware, networks, operating  
	systems and artificial intelligence.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
26	General Engineering					28 
			 
	Embraces those departments that offer courses  
	which integrate two or more of the main branches of  
	engineering - electrical, civil, mechanical and chemical. 
	Includes offshore technology, industrial studies, medical 
	engineering and bioengineering. 
--------------------------------------------------------------	 
29	Chemical Engineering					29		
	 
	Including chemical and process engineering, biochemical  
	and bioprocess engineering, fuel technology and energy  
	engineering and environmental protection. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
28	Civil Engineering					30 
			 
	Including, marine technology, transportation and  
	traffic engineering.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
29	Electrical and Electronic Engineering			31 
	 
	Including instrumentation and analytical science and  
	acoustics. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
30	Mechanical, Aeronautics and Manufacturing 		32 
	Engineering 
	 
	Including mechanical and manufacturing engineering,  
	sound and vibration research. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
31	Mineral and Mining Engineering				33 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
32	Metallurgy and Materials				34 
			 
	Including corrosion science and engineering,  
	paper science, polymer science and technology,  
	textiles and materials science. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
33	Built Environment					35 
			 
	Including architecture, building, construction  
	management, landscape and surveying.  
--------------------------------------------------------------	 
36	Town and Country Planning				36 
	 
	Includes land-use planning units associated with 
	the professional activities of the Royal Town Planning  
	Institute; general and rural estate management units  
	associated with the professional activities of the Royal  
	Institution of Chartered Surveyors; the work of research 
	based units dealing with planning related matters, and  
	housing units associated with the activities of the  
	Institute of Housing. Also includes transport studies. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
35	Geography						37 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
36	Law							38 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
37	Anthropology						39 
	 
	Social, cultural, physical and biological anthropology 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
38	Economics and Econometrics			    41, 40 
			 
	Includes economic history where its orientation  
	is towards economics. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
39	Politics and International Studies			42 
			 
	National and comparative politics; public administration  
	and policy studies, including science and technology 			
	policy; political theory; international relations, including 
	strategic, war and peace studies.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
40	Social Policy and Administration			43 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
41	Social Work						44 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
42	Sociology						45 
	 
	Quantitative and qualitative, empirical and theoretical  
	study of the structures and cultures of advanced and  
	developing societies, including styles and material  
	standards of living, opinions, values and institutions.  
	Includes social theory and social research methodology.  
	Includes women's studies and gender studies. Overlaps  
	demography, criminology, social studies of science,  
	medicine and health, social statistics, social history,  
	human geography, philosophy of social science,  
	social psychology.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
43	Business and Management Studies				46 
	 
	Covers the full range of single and multidisciplinary  
	research which may be undertaken in Business and  
	Management Schools and Departments, including  
	human and organisation behaviour, accounting,  
	banking and financial management, marketing,  
	operations management, management sciences,  
	information management, public sector management,  
	business policy and strategic management, economics, 
	international business and management, small  
	businesses, business history (except where its orientation  
	is clearly towards history), arts management, industrial  
	relations, management development and related areas.  
	Also includes home economics, hospitality management 
	and tourism.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
44	Accountancy						47 
	 
	Covers the 15 categories of Accounting and Finance  
	research used in The British Accounting Register,  
	ie accounting history, accounting profession, accounting  
	theory, auditing, business finance and financial markets,  
	computing, education, financial accounting and reporting, 
	government, public sector and other not for profit  
	organisations, industries and specific organisations,  
	international aspects, management accounting,  
	methodology and methods (including quantitative  
	method), taxation, other aspects of accounting and  
	finance practice, theory and research. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
45	American Studies 					48 
			 
	Including non-language based Latin American Studies,  
	Canadian studies and Caribbean studies. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
46	Middle Eastern and African Studies			49 
			 
	Including Arabic, Persian and Turkish, Hebrew and   
	other languages of the Bible, and Sub-Saharan Africa  
	(Bantu, Swahili, Hausa etc.) and central Asian languages  
	of the former Soviet Union with the exception of  
	Mongolian which should be returned to UOA 47. Also  
	includes non-language based area studies of these regions. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
47	Asian Studies						50 
 
	Includes Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, Southeast Asian  
	languages (Thai, Burmese, Mon-Khmer, Indonesian etc.),  
	Indian languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Hindi, Urdu, etc  
	and Tibetan) and Mongolian. Also includes non-language  
	based area studies of these regions. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
48	European Studies					52 
			 
	Submissions from departments covering a wide range  
	of European languages and also a variety of disciplines  
	(history, politics, literature, linguistics etc). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
49	Celtic Studies						53 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
50	English Language and Literature				51 
			 
	The study of the English language and of written and  
	(so far as accessible) spoken English discourse of all periods  
	(from Old English to Present English) and in all parts of  
	the world. Includes literature of Great Britain and Ireland,  
	of North America, of the Commonwealth, and of former  
	Commonwealth countries in English. Also includes related  
	subjects mainly taught within English, for example,  
	Old Icelandic. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
54	French							54 
 
	Including Provencal 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
52	German, Dutch and Scandinavian languages		55 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
53	Italian							56 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
54	Russian, Slavonic and East European languages		57		
		 
	Including Finnish and Hungarian. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
55	Spanish							58		 
	Including other Iberian languages and Latin American  
	languages (both indigenous languages and those of  
	European origin). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
56	Linguistics						59 
	 
	All areas of theoretical, descriptive and applied linguistics, 
	including syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics,  
	phonology, phonetics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, 
	computational linguistics, historical linguistics, stylistics, 
	text linguistics and research in second language acquisition. 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
57	Classics and Ancient History				60 
	 
	Greek and Latin language, literature and documentation  
	including epigraphy and papyrology; ancient philosophy  
	and history of thought and religion in antiquity; ancient  
	history. Also includes Byzantine studies and Modern Greek. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
58	Archaeology						61 
	 
	The study of ancient societies through the examination of  
	their physical remains and the application of general social  
	theories. British, European and World Archaeology  
	including such regional or chronological subject areas  
	as medieval archaeology, classical archaeology, prehistoric 
	archaeology, New World archaeology, Assyriology, and  
	Egyptology. Scientific archaeology (including  
	palaeodemography, palaeoecology etc) using laboratory- 
	based techniques. Landscape archaeology and cultural  
	resource management. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
59	History						    62, 40 
	 
	Includes the main historical divisions, such as medieval,  
	early modern and modern history; British, Irish, Europe 
	an and world history; cultural, social, scientific, diplomatic,  
	local history, history of medicine and history of science.  
	It includes economic history where its orientation is towards  
	history; other related areas are Politics and International  
	Studies (UOA 39) and Classics (UOA 57).  
	Includes palaeography. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
60	History of Art, Architecture and Design			63 
	 
	Principally western art and architecture, from classical  
	antiquity to the present, but to include non-western  
	art and architecture such as Islamic, Oriental, Byzantine,  
	Indian, Oceanic, Latin American. Also museum studies  
	and conservation. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
61	Library and Information Management			64 
	 
	Including librarianship, library and archive studies. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
62	Philosophy						65 
	 
	History of philosophy, logic and philosophical logic,  
	metaphysics, moral and political philosophy, applied ethics  
	(eg in environmental areas), theory of knowledge and  
	philosophy of mind: also ancient philosophy, philosophy  
	of language, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, modern  
	continental philosophy, philosophy of mathematics,  
	philosophy of history, philosophy of the social sciences,  
	philosophy of law and philosophy of science. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
63	Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies		66 
	 
	Under these headings are included research in the  
	following (and related areas): systematic theology,  
	historical and contemporary; philosophical theology; the  
	theology of Old and New Testaments; ecclesiastical history;  
	historical studies in the developments of creeds, doctrine,  
	liturgy; pastoral care; ethics and religion. Biblical studies,  
	exegetical, interpretative, linguistic etc. Comparative religion; 
	studies in religious traditions world-wide. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
64	Art and Design						67 
	 
	Fine art, applied arts, and design for communication.  
	Includes fashion design, theatre design, typography  
	and graphic communication. It does not include  
	engineering-based design which should be returned to 
	the appropriate engineering UOA (UOAs 26-32). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
65	Communication and Media Studies				68 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
66	Drama, Dance, and Performing Arts			69 
	 
	Excludes Music (UOA 67). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
67	Music							70 
 
	Includes ethnomusicology. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
68	Education						71 
	 
	Theory and practice of Education at all stages including  
	pre-school, school, post-school, continuing, further, adult  
	and higher education, but not physical education and  
	sports sciences (see UOA 69). Where the nature of the  
	research justifies it, work may be submitted to other units  
	(eg certain types of mathematical education might be  
	more appropriate to mathematics). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
69	Sports related subjects 				72 
	 
	Includes physical education, sport science, leisure,  
	recreation and sports studies.  
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
 
Notes  
 
1.	Information systems should be returned to the most appropriate 
UOA. 
 
2.	Area studies and development studies should be returned to either 
the appropriate language based UOA or, where its main thrust to 
towards environmental and social studies, to the Geography UOA.