The Social Policy Association (SPA) holds an international academic conference each summer. This is a key time for the UK and international social policy community to share current research. The conference regularly attracts up to 250 delegates who are researchers, teachers, students and practitioners of social policy from the UK and overseas. We come together to share research, promote social policy in teaching and learning, and to advance the role of research in policy making, practice and wider public debates.

2024 Conference: Social Policy Futures

In 2024, the Social Policy Association conference will be hosted by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th July.

Falling in a UK General Election year and hosted at Strathclyde’s cutting-edge Technology and Innovation Centre, this year’s conference theme is Social Policy Futures.

Visit the full conference webpage here, and the call for abstracts here.

The local organising team includes colleagues from across the University of Strathclyde community: the Department of Social Work & Social Policy and Strathclyde Business School. We can’t wait to welcome you to glorious Glasgow, and are putting together a social programme to help you make the most of our city centre location. Our Conference Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held in the historic Glasgow City Chambers, including a Civic Reception courtesy of the Lord Provost and Glasgow City Council.

Given the venue’s location in Glasgow city centre, the conference team will not be organising accommodation for delegates. There are great options at a range of price points within easy walking distance of the Technology and Innovation Centre. For those requiring accessible rooms, Euan’s Guide lists Glasgow hotels with particularly good reviews for accessibility.

If you have questions, please email the conference team at

Past conferences:

SPA Annual Conference 2023: Rising Inequalities and Poverty: What Role for Social Policy?

Host: University of Nottingham

Keynote speakers: Anna Coote, Professor Danny Dorling, and Panel on Poverty and Inequality.

Programme: click here to download.

SPA Annual Conference 2022: Inter-generationality: Challenges and Prospects

Host: Swansea University

Keynote speakers: Prof Chiara Saraceno; Baroness Minouche Shafik 

Programme: click here to download (pre-conference draft version).

SPA Annual Conference Online, 2021.

Keynote speakers: Mark Drakeford, AM; Professor Sue Yeandle; Professor Shahra Razavi.

Programme: Click here to download


rain boots on a fence SPA Digital Festival, 2020.

Keynote Speakers: Alison Garnham and Gurminder Bhambra.
Programme: Click here to download.

Durham, 2019.
Theme: Securing the Future: the Challenge for Social Policy.
Keynote Speakers: John Solomos, Claire Alexander, Gary Craig, Nasar Meer, Coretta Philips, Ellen M. Immergut, Daniel Béland.
Programme: Click here to download.

York, 2018.
Theme: In the Shadow of the 2008 Crisis: Social Policy Ten Years On.
Keynote Speakers: Eftychia Achtsioglou, Bea Cantillon, Hartley Dean.
Programme: Click here to download.

Durham, 2017.
Theme: Social Inequalities: Research, Theory and Policy.
Keynote Speakers: Andrew Sayer, Wolfgang Streeck, Saskia Sassen.
Programme: Click here to download.

2016 Conference
Belfast, 2016.
Theme: Social Policy: Radical, Resistant, Resolute.
Keynote Speakers:Tess Ridge, Kathryn Edin, David Lewis.
Programme: Click here to read.

Visit Belfast
Belfast, 2015.
Theme: Social Policy in the Spotlight: Change, Continuity and Challenge.
Keynote Speakers: Mary O’Hara, Jane Jenson, Colin Crouch, David Donnison.

Conference 2014
Sheffield, 2014.
Theme: Social Policy Confronting Change: Resistance, Resilience and Radicalism.

Previous Conferences
Previous Conferences
 Details on past SPA conferences before 2014

SPA Conference 2014
If you have a general query about SPA conferences, please get in touch with us via We are always keen to hear from people in institutions that might be interested in hosting a future SPA conference.