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UKCRC Health Research Classification System

Getting started


The Health Research Classification System (HRCS) website is designed to incorporate all aspects of the use of HRCS; from the principles and guidance for coders to access to our reports to replicating the system in your own organisation. Below are some likely scenarios for users of this site, but you can always contact us if you have any specific questions.

Brand new to HRCS?

If you have never heard of the HRCS before and want to learn more, we suggest starting with the Purpose of the HRCS. This will give you some of the background to the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the HRCS. You may also want to read some of our reports, which demonstrate how the HRCS has been used across the UK.

Interested in HRCS coding?

If you are looking to start coding a research portfolio from scratch, the General Approach to Coding pages are for you. This should give you a basic overview of purpose and coding principles, before you dig into the dedicated Health Categories, Research Activities and Guidance pages.

You can also download the HRCS manual

There’s also the pages on training and common mistakes, which are very helpful for coding novices.

Are you an experienced HRCS coder?

You should find everything you need in our dedicated Health Categories, Research Activities and Guidance pages. We also recommend the search bar if you have a specific question, although you may need to try synonyms as well as acronyms!

Looking to replicate the HRCS analysis?

If you’re already familiar with our reports, and the associated published data, you may also be keen to learn how to perform similar analyses on your own data. There are some tools available that can help.

Want to learn more about how the HRCS has been used?

While the main focus for the HRAF group has been to oversea the production of our quinquennial reports, the HRCS itself has been used routinely by a large number of UK funders and internationally. See our Use of the HRCS page for more details. You’ll also find the data from our three main reports available for reuse, and we encourage you to do so.

If you still can’t find an answer to your query, please contact us.