How to Join the SPA

How do I join?

Join Now To join the Social Policy Association please click here and follow the sign up instructions. Once submitted, the Membership Secretary will approve your membership application (so we can attach your membership number to your profile).

Why join the UK Social Policy Association?

The SPA provides a forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas, research and perspectives about pressing national and global social challenges and issues. The SPA promotes research, teaching and practice in Social Policy and works to enhance the public profile of the subject as well as academic, policy and practice dialogue, research and collaboration. It is committed to promoting the discipline of Social Policy and providing collective representation for its national and international membership. It is regularly consulted by organisations responsible for post-compulsory education and social science research in the UK. It liaises closely with the Economic and Social Research Council and other bodies, providing a range of services to support and encourage advanced studies in Social Policy.

What are the benefits of membership?

Membership of the SPA brings a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Individual subscription to the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, Journal of Social Policy and Social Policy and Society (all published in collaboration with Cambridge University Press).
  • Receipt of Social Policy Review, published annually: an edited collection of articles reviewing developments and debates in social policy in the UK and internationally.
  • Opportunities to join and participate in SPA groups, networks and events.
  • Discounts on subscriptions to other leading academic journals: Journal of European Social Policy, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Policy and Politics, Social Policy and Administration and Global Social Policy.
  • Discounted registration for the annual international Social Policy Association conference, which attracts social policy academics and researchers from the UK and internationally.
  • Reciprocal arrangements with other learned societies: SPA members can attend the British Sociological Association conference and Social Research Association events at a reduced rate, and can join APPAM (Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management) at a reduced price.
  • The opportunity to apply for Opportunity Grants, which provide funding to support seminars, conferences and other activities for the benefit of members as well as the broader social policy and social research community.
  • Close links with other learned societies and major social policy research, teaching and learning organisations such as the Higher Education Academy.
  • Eligibility to be nominated for the annual round of SPA Awards.

How much does it cost?

Membership subscription rates are charged on a sliding scale according to income (see below for current rates).

Subscription rates UK and Economic North
Annual income Annual subscription
Less than £15,000 £40
£15,000–£29,999 £75
£30,000–£49,999 £95
£50,000 or more £125
Organisational rate £100*
Subscription rates  **Economic South
Individual rate £10
Organisational rate £50*

* Please contact for further details of organisational membership which is available to organisations in the Public and Third Sector but not higher education institutions.

** For clarification of the classification of the economic North/South divide please refer to this map (map reproduced by kind permission of the British Society of Criminology)

Economic North South Divide Map