How to Join the SPA

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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 Social Policy and Social Policy and Society (both 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 Postgraduate and Early Career groups, networks and events.
  • Discounts on subscriptions to other leading academic journals: Journal of European Social Policy, 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 other countries. The conference provides an important opportunity to engage with the latest developments in the discipline.
  • Reciprocal arrangements with other learned societies: SPA members can attend the BSA conference and the 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 to our various grants scheme 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 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 the Membership Secretary, Lee Gregory, 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)

How do I join?

It is simple to join the SPA!

To join please follow the instructions below and submit the necessary forms via email to the Membership Secretary, currently Lee Gregory.

  1. All new members: Ensuring you provide us with up to date and accurate members information and contact details (clearly specifying an alternative address for receipt of members’ journals if this is different to your workplace address) please download and complete the New Members Form.
  1. UK Members: The SPAs preferred method of annual membership fee payment for UK members is via an annual Direct Debit. This method of payment ensures members are guaranteed automatic annual renewal unless the SPA is informed members’ wish to cancel their membership and direct debit. In advance of annual membership renewal in January of each year, UK members receive an email offering them the opportunity to cancel their membership if they prefer. UK Members can download and print the Direct Debit mandate form here.

In order for payment to be swiftly processed, please complete this form carefully providing all the necessary information including the correct membership subscription fee amount according to your annual income and the date of the first annual direct debit payment (which should at least allow two weeks for processing). Please also ensure your Direct Debit form is signed. If you have any queries regarding UK membership, the Direct Debit scheme or alternative methods of paying for your annual membership subscription, please contact the Membership Secretary

  1. Overseas Members: The SPA has a growing number of overseas members and particularly keen to increase its international membership and networks. The SPA operates an on-line method of payment for the annual membership subscription rates for overseas members. The Membership Secretary will provide information about our on-line payment system following receipt of your New Members Form.

Any queries membership related the Membership Secretary will be happy to hear from you.