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.

Upcoming conferences:
Our 2022 Annual Conference is planned for York, in July.

Past conferences:

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.