> Volunteer | Manchester Museum
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer


Manchester Museum and the Whitworth offer a joint one week Work Experience programme for secondary school students.


Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do at Manchester Museum, contributing to the work of the Museum in so many different ways. The roles available vary from engaging with visitors on our galleries to working alongside staff from the Museum’s curatorial, learning and engagement departments.

We aim to work with volunteers from areas local to the Museum and with student volunteers, providing an outlet for sharing skills and perspectives and offering development and learning opportunities.

Opportunities fall into three main areas, when considering volunteering please use the criteria below to help you make your choice:

Visitor Engagement    

Object handling, where collections are brought to life every day to inspire the curiosity of our visitors, is a key role for volunteers and we currently have six themed handling tables in our galleries: Ancient Egypt, Living Worlds, Money, Manchester Gallery and Palaeontology. In addition, we have our Live Animals experience and Nature Discovery aimed at young families as well as handling collections themed around current temporary exhibitions.

As a visitor engagement volunteer, you would:

  • Be friendly, enthusiastic and passionate about the Museum and our collections
  • Enjoy meeting and chatting to people from around the world
  • Enjoy learning new information and sharing that information with others
  • Be able to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Have weekends, school holidays and /or weekdays free to volunteer
  • Be able to commit to a minimum of six months

Supporting the learning or engagement teams

The Museum offers an extensive programme of wonderful events, activities and learning opportunities which enhance our current exhibitions and animate our collections.  Volunteers in our learning and engagement teams are involved in facilitating a wide range of creative workshops and activities with all age groups. This can range from volunteering in The Study to supporting visiting schools or helping at family, adult and outreach events.

As a volunteer supporting the learning and engagement teams, you would:

  • Be confident in providing a friendly welcome to all visitors
  • Enjoy engaging with all age groups, particularly children and their families
  • Be interested in making Museums accessible for all and ensuring everyone can enjoy the Museum equally.
  • Enjoy working together as part of a team
  • Be flexible in your approach to work and able to deal with busy situations
  • Enjoy taking part and helping with creative activities and workshops
  • Have weekends, school holidays and /or weekdays free to volunteer

Behind the scenes       

A small number of volunteers are involved behind the scenes working alongside staff to provide important support.  Roles include: labelling, cataloguing and assisting with projects relating to our collections. (Please note that there are limited opportunities in the collection areas and we are not currently recruiting for these positions).

  • As a behind the scenes volunteer, you would:
  • Be interested in collection care or conservation
  • Have a friendly and flexible approach to your work
  • Be able to meet deadlines and carry out tasks that require attention to detail
  • Be able to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Are free to volunteer on weekdays

How to apply

If you’re curious about being part of the Museums volunteer team and would like details of the next recruitment or further information please get in touch at museumvolunteers@manchester.ac.uk

As part of The University of Manchester, the Museum is committed to lifelong learning and constantly seeks to provide exciting opportunities and innovative ways to involve volunteers. Our most recent project is if: Volunteering for wellbeing supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, please visit Volunteering for Wellbeing project website for further information  Previous projects include In Touch Volunteer Programme (Heritage Lottery Fund), This Is Us: Our place, Our Culture (Grundtvig) and Senior Volunteer Programme (Grundtvig).