Student and schools workshops | The Mary Rose
School and college workshops

Be inspired by our award-winning learning department

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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

Enter the Mary Rose Museum through our private school entrance. Our team provides a 10-minute introduction to the Mary Rose Museum with an opportunity to ask questions. Glimpse behind the scenes at our reserve collection of artefacts not on show to the public. This option helps teachers to orientate themselves in the museum and prepares them to lead their class around the galleries with confidence.

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

Two-part challenge:

  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. 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? 

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

Arrival and supervision around the site

Entrance to the Mary Rose Museum is through the main gate of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Bags may be searched.

On arrival, make your way to the Mary Rose Museum. You may wish to visit the toilets in Boathouse 7 on route or use the toilets outside the Mary Rose Museum to the right of the main door. The Museum is 10 minutes’ walk from the main visitor entrance.  Appropriate clothing should be worn in bad weather. 

Please ensure that your pupils are supervised at all times. Teachers and adult helpers are free.  Please make museum staff aware of any particular special needs to ensure we can give extra assistance where applicable.

The Museum

The museum operates a one-way visitor route over three floors. This involves use of lifts and/or stairs. All areas can be accessed by lifts and ramps. A floor plan of the Museum for reference along with key areas to explore is included in this pack.

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

  • Look               See thousands of artefacts on show opposite the ship and watch the projections
  • Listen              Sounds bring the three different levels to life
  • Touch             Replica objects and other activities are available
  • Smell               Find the real rope for a real Tudor scent!
  • Ask                  Museum Team Members are available to answer questions


The museum is a very 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. 

You may wish to be aware that human remains are displayed on the lower and upper decks of the museum. The content of some displays e.g. the Surgeon may upset particularly sensitive children.

Due to the size and layout of the museum, children are at risk of getting lost if they stray from their group. Please strongly advise children to stay with their group. If they are lost or you realise someone is missing, inform a Museum Team Member who will activate our lost child procedure.  

Museum Team Members are in uniform and wear identification badges. Mary Rose lanyards and badges are worn by staff in non-uniform. Approach anyone with any questions or concerns. They will be happy to help you or direct you to the appropriate place for help.

In order to ensure that all our visitors enjoy their visit to the full, please ensure that your pupils:

  • Behave in an appropriate manner for museum visiting
  • Walk (please don’t run!) around the building
  • Don’t eat or drink in the museum
  • Don’t use mobile phones in the galleries in a way which disturbs others

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 site.

Mary Rose Workshops

You will be met on arrival at the museum entrance. For later sessions, please arrive at the door to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Learning Centre (at the back of the Mary Rose Museum) 5 minutes before your workshop begins unless directed otherwise.

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.

We are very happy to accommodate SEND pupils. Just let us know how we can help.

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

Toilets, Lunch and Shop

Toilets are available just outside the main Museum entrance and inside the Museum on the upper floor. Accessible toilets are located in the Learning Centre, in Reception and just outside the Museum.   

A shared space for visiting schools in Boathouse 7 is available for children to eat their lunch. Visitors are not permitted to eat their own packed lunch in the Museum Cafe. Please note – this facility is approximately a 5 minute walk from the Museum.  Alternatively, there are places to sit outside in fine weather.

The 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. 


We value feedback on visits.  You and your pupils may be asked to fill in evaluation forms to help us to monitor our work.

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.