Joining the BPA

The BPA is a learned society in the UK which aims, on the one hand, to promote the study of philosophy within higher and secondary education and in the wider community, and on the other, to assist professional philosophers in their teaching, scholarship and research, including representing the views of teachers to relevant government and administrative bodies.

The BPA’s job is to protect and nurture the study of, and research in, Philosophy in the UK. But in order to do this, we need your support. Joining also gives you access to a members-only area of our site, where you can access our meeting minutes and vote in our Executive Committee elections.

If you want to know more about why you should join, click on why join the BPA?.

Apply online!

We’ve made it easier to apply for full individual membership. Just click on online membership form and fill it in. Then either print off the standing order form and send to your bank (click the link below), or else just set up the standing order using your own online banking facility. (Please remember to make the due date 30 September and use your surname as the reference.) Or put a cheque in the post.

Free membership of the Institute of Philosophy!

Full individual members of the BPA can now join the Institute of Philosophy for free — a saving of £40 (£15 unwaged). Fill in the IP membership form, available from the IP membership page, stating that you are a BPA member. Then email us on, so that we can confirm your BPA membership to the IP.

Special offer if you pay by standing order

If you pay by standing order, membership until 30 September (the date your membership fee leaves your account) is free.

Departments and learned societies

Click on membership forms below and fill in the relevant membership form. You can pay by cheque, standing order or BACS; please let us know if you require an invoice.

Membership categories & fees

Membership runs from 1 October to 30 September. If you join during the academic year and pay by standing order, membership until the following 1 October is free.

Individual membership

Individual members in any of the categories below are welcome from anywhere in the world.

Full membership £15 waged, £8 unwaged

Open to anyone who is competent to teach or pursue research in philosophy, as demonstrated by their training or achievements. This includes postgraduate research students, individuals with a research degree/teaching experience but not currently employed in a teaching or research position in philosophy, teachers of philosophy in schools, and retired academics.

Retirement membership £50 for those over 65

Open to anyone meeting the criteria for full membership (see above).

Institutional membership

Departmental membership

Open to all HE philosophy departments in the UK or any other unit, within an HE institution in the UK, which has responsibility for a substantial amount of teaching and/or research in Philosophy, regardless of its formal title, and irrespective of whether or not it is also responsible for teaching and/or research in other areas. (One specific function of the Association is to cater for philosophers not working in the conventional context of a philosophy department.) Only departments that are paid members will be represented by the BPA (where representation includes being invited to Head of Department meetings, being briefed about the REF consultation and receiving support and advice etc.).

Membership fees vary depending on the number of staff in the department, as follows:

Number of academics^

BPA subscription

1-5 £20
6-10 £50
11-15 £70
>16 £100

^ Count all academics at lecturer grade or higher who are on a permanent contract, whether full or part time. In the case of part-time staff please add up any fractional contracts to their full-time equivalent (such as two staff on 0.5 positions equating to 1 full-time staff) and round up 0.5 to the next whole number.

Learned society membership

Any learned society may become a corporate member of the BPA if it has among its principal objects the promoting of study in areas which are wholly or primarily philosophical. Membership is not restricted to UK-based societies. Membership fees are related to the membership of the learned society, as follows:

Number of members

BPA membership fee*

 50                                      £20
51-100 members £50
101-150 members £100
151-200 members £150
>200 members £200

* The BPA membership fees are intended as guidelines only. We recognise that different learned societies with similar numbers of members can be in very different financial circumstances, and we have no wish to discourage learned societies from joining or renewing by charging fees they cannot afford. Societies that do not wish to pay the recommended fee may simply pay a fee associated with a lower level of society membership (minimum £20).

Renewing your membership

We contact all members (including departmental and learned society members) each year, around August/September, to invite them to renew (unless you pay by standing order, in which case we will confirm your renewal by email once we have received your subscription). If you do not receive an invitation or confirmation, your membership may have lapsed, or we may not have up-to-date contact details for you; please contact us on

If you change your contact details, do please let us know so that we can stay in touch.

Latest News