Student and schools workshops | The Mary Rose
Learning workshops

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Our busy Learning Department provides learning opportunities for all ages and abilities in the purpose-built Stavros Niarchos Foundation Learning Centre classroom and laboratory. School visits, CPD for teachers, family learning and more!


Visit Prices - UK Schools

The Mary Rose Museum houses the wreck of King Henry VIII’s flagship alongside thousands of original Tudor objects reflecting all levels of Tudor life. There are two ways to experience the museum:

Teacher-led Discovery Visit at the Mary Rose - £5 per pupil

This completely teacher-led visit allows schools freedom to explore the museum and discover the story of the Mary Rose. Start with the 1545: When their world ended immersive sinking experience. See thousands of real Tudor artefacts and learn about life on board ship in 1545. STEM links include the excavation and raising of the hull, conservation science and the evidence from human remains found on board.  

Teacher-led Discover More at the Mary Rose - £6 per pupil

Add the personal touch to your visit. Be met by one of our volunteer guides at the Mary Rose Museum entrance who will introduce the ship and her story. Experience the 1545 Sinking film. Your guide will then explain the layout of the museum to allow you to lead your class around with confidence and answer any questions.

Ideal if you are not able to do a pre-visit. On very busy days, there is the option to bypass the 1545 experience and queue via our school entrance.

Key Stage 1 & 2: Primary School Programme

What sank the Mary Rose?

Understanding how the ship was lost

A fun practical STEM activity investigating why the Mary Rose sank. Was the ship unstable or overloaded? In small teams, load plastic models with weights to test your theories.

As a class try our tipping ship challenge.

Henry’s Heroes

Life on board the Mary Rose

Discover life above and below decks on King Henry VIII’s favourite warship.

Handle a wide range of replica artefacts to investigate how differently the officers and crew lived, worked and played at sea.

Dressing up for all with our replica Tudor clothing – bring the camera for a brilliant photo opportunity for the whole class!

Materials of the Mary Rose

Investigate a plastic-free world

Work with real and replica artefacts to investigate Tudor materials and their properties.

Were they fit for purpose?

How do they compare with modern materials?

Use digital microscopes to compare sample materials and see them in high definition!

Fighting Fit

Who were the men of the Mary Rose?

Dispel some of those myths about Tudor life using evidence from the Mary Rose skeletons.  A series of hands-on activities is designed to answer the question: Are we fitter and healthier than our Tudor ancestors? Pupils will discover the impact of work, diet and exercise on the crew and the officers.

Tudor Gun Drill     

Battle plans and cannon fire

A two-part challenge taking a closer look at life on board the ship:

  1. What does it take to work as a member of a Tudor Gun Crew? What would it be like on board in the heat of battle? In small teams, load and fire our full-size replica gun.
  2. There are two different options for the second part of the workshop:
    1. Think big! Teams plan a strategy to attack or defend Portsmouth Harbour in 1545 with ships and castles using a contemporary map. Can you change history?
    2. (BY SPECIAL REQUEST) Handle mystery replica artefacts from the ship. How many can you guess? What does it tell us about Tudor life?”

Key Stage 3 & 4: Secondary School Programme

Tudor History Mystery                 

Contribute to the ongoing debate

Source work:

Why did the Mary Rose sink and why is she so significant? Engage in a genuine debate comparing conflicting primary sources on the sinking of the ship before voting for the most likely theory.

Artefact handling:

Handle mystery replica artefacts. What does this amazing collection reveal about Tudor life?

What sank the Mary Rose?

Practical investigation

Why did the Mary Rose sink?

Was the ship unstable or overloaded?

Were there other factors?

Test predictions relating to stability and load-bearing capacity of models. Use the scientific evidence to support or refute the theories.

The Tudor Surgeon

How can we find out about Tudor medicine?

Discover the evidence from the Mary Rose including artefacts, human remains and the latest scientific research.

Compare medicine in 1545 and today before trying some role play using costumes and props based on jobs on board. Will the Surgeon kill or cure his patients?

Post-16 Programme

Presentation plus practical challenge and discussion

£150 per session

Meet a member of the Museum Management Team.  

Suitable for students studying:

  • Leisure, Travel and Tourism
  • Business Studies
  • Marketing
  • History and Archaeology
  • Teacher Training
  • Museum Studies
Useful information for teachers and leaders

Our aim is that all teachers and pupils have a safe and enjoyable experience.

This guide is designed to make sure your day goes as smoothly as possible.

We strongly recommend a free pre-visit to the museum to conduct your own risk assessment.

With appropriate supervision and behaviour, there are no significant risks.

Download Teacher Welcome/Hazard Identification Pack
Visiting the Mary Rose Museum

Arrival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitor Centre.

  • The Museum is about 10 minutes’ walk from the Visitor Centre.
  • Pupils may be subject to a random bag search in accordance with site security measures  
  • Tickets must be collected on arrival. If there is a queue, one member of staff can collect tickets from the Visitor Centre while the main party make their way to the Mary Rose Museum.  Appropriate clothing should be worn in bad weather. 
  • Visit the toilets in Boathouse 7 on the walk down or use the toilets outside the Mary Rose Museum to the right of the main door.


Teachers, 1-2-1 assistants and adult helpers are free of charge. Please make staff aware of any particular special needs or medical requirements to see if we can provide any extra assistance (see Accessibility p. 4).

The museum operates a one-way visitor route over three floors. (See Museum Map p. 5) This involves use of lifts and/or stairs. We expect a visit to last about 1 hour, but please allow an extra 30+ minutes if you wish to experience the 4D ‘Dive the Mary Rose’ film and/or 1545 Sinking Experience. You may have more or less time depending on time slots for lunch, workshops, queues during peak times or visiting other attractions. Workshop groups will be on a set timetable which you will be sent before your visit.

The aim is that visitors of all ages and abilities enjoy the experience of being in the museum:

Look   A mixture of artefacts, films, pictures, labels, activities and handling objects tell the story of the Mary Rose
Listen Sounds bring the three different levels to life
Touch Handling opportunities include replica objects
Smell Find the original rope for a real Tudor scent!
Ask  The museum team are available to answer questions

Most pupils are well behaved and a credit to their school. To ensure that all our visitors enjoy the museum, please ensure that staff, adult helpers and pupils behave in an appropriate way:

  • Be considerate so that all visitors can enjoy the museum
  • Respect museum staff and volunteers who are there to help
  • Talk and ask questions (but please don’t shout!)
  • Walk (please don’t run!) around the building
  • Children should not use the stairs (single file on the left please) or lifts without adult supervision
  • Don’t eat or drink whilst in the museum
  • Don’t use mobile phones in the galleries or workshops in a way which disturbs other visitors or session leaders

In the very unusual circumstance of groups or individuals behaving in an offensive or unreasonable manner, the museum reserves the right to ask you to leave the building.

General Information
  • The vast majority of artefacts in the museum date from one day in history - the day the ship sank, 19th July 1545. Everything behind glass is real! Perspex has been used to show the missing pieces. 
  • Visitor Experience Team Members and Volunteers are in uniform or costume and wear identification badges. Mary Rose lanyards and badges are worn by staff in non-uniform. Approach any team member with any questions or concerns. They will be happy to help you or direct you to the appropriate place for help.
  • A shared space for visiting schools in Boathouse 7 is available for to eat lunch (approximately a 5 minute walk from the museum).  Visitors are not permitted to eat their own packed lunch in the museum cafe. Alternatively, there are places to sit outside in fine weather.
  • The Mary Rose shop stocks pocket-money items. Please encourage pupils to move around the shop in small groups and have their money ready at the till. ‘Goody bags’ are also available to pre-order if time is tight.
  • The Museum is a dark environment.  It is lit dramatically to show the artefacts to their best advantage and to ensure that they do not suffer damage from the light. Lights up sessions for visually impaired and SEND visitors are available (see Accessibility p. 4).  
  • Be aware that human remains are displayed on the lower and upper decks of the museum. The content of some displays (e.g. Tudor medicine/ mannequins) may upset particularly sensitive children.
  • Due to the size and layout of the museum, pupils are at risk of getting lost if they stray from their group. Please ensure that children and young people stay with their group and teachers/adults. We recommend regular head counts. If they are lost or you realise someone is missing, inform a team member who will activate our lost child procedure.  
  • We value feedback.  You and your pupils may be asked to fill in evaluation forms to help us to monitor and improve our offer.
  • A range of pre- and post-visit resources for students, teachers and parents are available at

You will be met on arrival at the museum entrance. Coat and bag storage is available in the Learning Centre for groups who have booked workshops, however, we cannot take any responsibility for loss or damage to personal belongings. Please advise pupils to bring as little as possible and no valuable items. All workshops have plenty of sensory elements. Please make us aware of any SEND pupils – we have a range of resources to help.

NB Please make use of the main facilities outside at the front of the museum, or in the Upper Deck gallery next to the 4D cinema, for whole group toilet breaks.  Two emergency toilets are available in the Learning Centre for those undertaking workshops. 

Accessibility at the Mary Rose Museum
We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy their experience at the Mary Rose. That’s why we designed the museum to be as accessible as possible with multi-sensory resources. We understand museum visits can be overwhelming for some people so our staff and volunteers can be flexible to help meet any particular needs – just ask.

Relaxed Opening mornings

Every month we hold Relaxed Opening mornings aimed at visitors who may find the museum environment difficult, such as visually impaired or visitors on the autistic spectrum. During this time the lights in the museum will be at a higher level and sound effects will be turned down. Dates can be found on our website:

Visitors with Learning difficulties

We offer information in a variety of formats: text, AV, costumed guides, hands-on experiences. You can download a short introduction in symbol-supported text here plus a Visual Story to help prepare anxious pupils:

Ear defenders and lanterns are available to borrow from the museum reception.

Assistance Dogs

All guide and assistance dogs are welcome.


The site, the museum and toilets are fully accessible by wheelchair. There is a toilet with adult-size changing facilities, including a hoist and adjustable table, near the museum entrance. Lifts are available to move from floor to floor. We have a number of wheelchairs available to borrow and a buggy service is available to transport visitors from the Dockyard gate to the museum (subject to availability). Please phone us to arrange: 02392 812931.

Toilet Facilities

Toilets are situated at the Mary Rose Museum entrance, in the Upper Deck Gallery and in the Learning Centre

Visually Impaired visitors

The museum is very dark to protect the artefacts. We offer a range of sensory resources, including a tactile painting of the ship. Visitors are able to handle real and replica artefacts.

Hearing Impaired visitors

There is an audio loop system in exhibition spaces. We also provide transcripts and subtitles for the audio-visual content in some areas.

Useful downloads for teachers
Teacher's Guides

Everything you need to know when planning your visit to the Mary Rose



Quality Badge awarded by Council for Learning Outside the Classroom


Please express your interest by filling in the form below, or calling us on +44(0)23 9281 2931 (ext. 2311). Please note this form does not constitute a booking.