Frequently Asked Questions
We know you’ll have lots of questions about the changes at Manchester Museum and what this means for your group.
If the answer to your question cannot be found below, please email or call us on 0161 275 2630 and we will be happy to help.
Due to the very complex nature of building work in a wonderful but complicated old building, sometimes we might not know the answer to your question straight away – but we’ll do our best!
In a word … lots! The museum is currently developing plans for our major expansion project. We hope that this will involve extensive redevelopment work between 2018 and 2020, and so our Learning Programme in its current format is being wound down to make way for new ideas, an exciting new offer, and greater capacity from 2021. This does mean that the workshops you might be used to won’t be available for a few years.
You can still plan a great self-led visit though, and we hope that the following FAQs will help with your planning. Between 2019 and 2021 we will also be offering some fantastic new activities for schools …outside of the museum.
If our project goes ahead…
To end May 2018:
We expect the whole museum to remain open.
We expect access to the following galleries would be maintained throughout:
- Nature’s Library
- The Vivarium
- Living Worlds
- Nature Discovery (Early Years gallery)
- The Study
We expect access to the following galleries would begin to be restricted (please check with us before making your booking):
- Living Cultures
- Manchester Gallery
- Egyptian Worlds
- Discovering Archaeology
- Exploring Objects
Exact timings of closures to these galleries will be published as soon as we know them for certain, but please get in touch for the latest information.
August 2018 onwards:
The Natural History and Fossils galleries, plus the Study, the Vivarium and Nature Discovery, would remain open throughout the redevelopment work. Every other part of the museum would be closed.
When you pre-book, we’ll ask you which galleries you’d like to visit.
Then we can give you a timetable, and also get in touch if there are any unexpected gallery closures that will affect your group.
Due to our limited physical capacity during our anticipated part-closure, we may ask you to avoid some of the galleries during certain times of your visit.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.
From April 2018 onwards, most of our regular programme for schools and colleges will stop. Anything that is available for schools will remain on this website. We do still have limited availability for our Secondary and Post-16 Artist-led sessions and Science workshops. Do also check out our Inflatable Museum. Please get in touch if you are unsure.
Our Inflatable Museum brings the wonder and curiosity of Manchester Museum to school halls across Manchester!
We do not currently offer loan boxes to schools … but sign up to our Early Years and Primary or Secondary and Post-16 e-newsletters to be the first to find out what else we’ll be offering for schools off-site between 2019 and 2021!
Pre-booking is essential for all groups. This helps us make sure everyone’s comfortable and safe. Without pre-booking, we cannot guarantee access to all the galleries or facilities you may require.On some days, our ‘museum in miniature’ may be getting quite full, so we may ask you to consider a different date.
Please make your booking enquiry as far in advance as possible to give yourself the best chance of access to the galleries you need.
- Teacher/group leader name
- Group name
- Group size
- Additional needs information
- Contact details
- Which galleries are essential for your visit
- Which galleries you’d like to also visit if possible
You can make your booking enquiry here.
As a group leader, to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit, we recommend you conduct a preliminary visit to familiarise yourself with the layout of the museum and create your own risk assessment. We have an example risk assessment to help you write your own.
You can also arrange to meet a member of our Learning Team to help plan your visit and to discuss any aspects of your visit.
Please see the following pages for suggestions and resources to help you plan your visit:
Please sign in at the Reception desk when your group first arrive. We will be able to issue you with a map highlighting the stairs, lifts, toilets, exits and any galleries that need to be avoided due to building work.
Before 13 July 2018: Yes, provided you have pre-booked (please take any essential medicines that pupils will need into the museum with you).
August 2018 onwards: If our major expansion project goes ahead we expect to lose access to the schools’ coat storage area. You’ll need to keep your coats and bags with you, or leave them on your coach if possible.
Before 13 July 2018: Yes, provided you have pre-booked.
August 2018 onwards: If our major expansion project goes ahead we expect to lose access to the picnic area. You’ll need to plan to visit us for just a half day, or make other arrangements for your lunch in Manchester.
Before July 2018: Yes. Please book in advance if you’d like to eat in our picnic area to eat in.
August 2018 onwards: Perhaps not as there will be nowhere on-site for groups to eat packed lunches. Older groups might wish to visit nearby cafes on Oxford Road. However you might find the smaller museum only takes an hour or two to visit.
We can accommodate up to 4 classes of up to 35 (plus adults) per day. We advise the following ratios for your self-led visit:
|Early Years||1 adult to every 4 children|
|Primary||1 adult to every 6 children|
|Secondary and Post-16||1 adult to every 15 students|
We want to provide all members of your group with an enjoyable and inclusive visit.
It would therefore be helpful if you could inform us prior to your visit if there are group members with additional needs as we may be able to offer some advice. If you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
All parts of the museum are accessible to wheelchair users. It would be helpful if you inform us prior to your visit if there are wheelchair users within your group.
Coach drivers can drop off the class directly outside the museum on Oxford Road.
If you are bringing a minibus and need to park, the nearest car park is a University of Manchester car park located on Cecil Street, about 5 minutes’ walk from the museum. You can still drop the class directly outside the museum on Oxford Road if you like.
Minibuses for disabled groups can be parked on Bridgeford Street; please contact us to arrange in advance.
Watch this space! We’ve done a lot of valuable consultation with schools and colleges of all kinds over the last few years running up to the start of this project.
If our expansion programme goes ahead, the next few years will see BIG changes in the museum as a whole as well as the Learning Programmes.
We’ll be looking for partners to help us with this, so please do sign up to the Early Years and Primary or Secondary and Post-16 e-newsletters to be the first to find out about what opportunities we can offer you in the meantime.
We have a sample risk assessment that you can adapt for your learners. It can be used for both workshops and self-led visits. You will find it here