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Understanding source codes on printed material

Our printed publicity materials include a reference code. Learn how to interpret the code to check how old a document is and who created it.

Why we use source codes

All printed publicity should include a source code for reference purposes.

Source codes look like I-PR0001-0316.

We use source codes for:

  • recording who created a publication and when
  • version control, so we don't use out-of-date materials
  • identifying the team to contact for enquiries about the publication
  • filenames, making digital files easy to search
  • allocating stock location for large print runs

Imaging, Design and Print Services:

  • creates all source codes and adds them to internally-designed publications
  • supplies codes for externally-designed materials
  • holds the central list of source codes

Interpreting source codes

Character 1

Character 1 shows if a faculty, institute, research centre or professional service department created the publicity material.

Value Definition
E Faculty of Engineering & Design
H Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
I Institute
M School of Management
P Professional service department
R Research centre
S Faculty of Science

This is always followed by a hyphen.

Characters 2 and 3

This is the department code. It identifies the department or subject area covered by the publicity, or if it is a cross-faculty publication.

Values Definition
AC Architecture & Civil Engineering, Department of
AH Accommodation & Hospitality
AR Academic Registry (for ceremony items)
AS Academic Skills Centre
AV Audio Visual Unit
BB Biology & Biochemistry, Department of
CA Careers
CE Chemical Engineering, Department of
CH Chemistry, Department of
CM Computer Science, Department of
CS Digital, Data & Technology (DD&T)
CY Chaplaincy
DA Development and Alumni Relations, Department of
EA Estates
ED Education, Department of
EE Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Department of
ES Economics, Department of
ET Energy Technologies (I-SEE)
FI Finance
FL Foreign Languages Centre
HL Health, Department for
HR Human Resources
HS Health Services – Dentist and Doctor
IC Innovation Centre
IO International Relations Office
IR International Recruitment Office
LI Library
LT Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office
MA Mathematical Sciences, Department of
MB Centre for Mathematical Biology
MC Marketing
ME Mechanical Engineering, Department of
MI Mathematical Innovation
MN Management, School of
MR Milner Centre for Evolution
MT Media Technology Research Centre
PA Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Department of
PH Physics, Department of
PL Politics, Languages & International Studies, Department of
PP Policy, Planning and Compliance
PR Policy Research
PS Psychology, Department of
RA Recruitment & Admissions
RI Research & Innovation Services
RM Centre for Regenerative Medicine
SC Security
SE Sustainable Energy and the Environment
SP Social & Policy Sciences, Department of
SR Sports Development & Recreation
SS Student Services
ST Sustainable Chemical Technologies
SU Students’ Union
TB Team Bath
TE The Edge
VC Vice Chancellor’s Office
WI Water Innovation Research Centre
WP Widening Participation
XX Faculty level, rather than department level or cross-department

Characters 4 to 7

Characters 4 to 7 are used to distinguish between items created in the same subject area in the same month.

For example, the code for the first piece would be '0001', the second one would be '0002', and so on.

This is always followed by a hyphen.

Characters 8 to 11

These show the date the publication was created.

Characters 8 and 9 show the month (01 for January, 02 for February and so on).

Characters 10 and 11 show the last two digits of the year.

For example:

Values Definition
1016 October 2016
0317 March 2017


  • S-BB0001-1016: The first piece of biology publicity produced by the Faculty of Science, in October 2016
  • P-MC0003-0117: The third piece of publicity produced by Marketing, in January 2017


If you have any questions, please contact us.