• The Mary Rose
  • Plan your visit
  • What's on
  • Learning
  • Venue hire
  • Collections & research
  • Support us
  • Shop
  • About the Trust
  • Contact us
School and college workshops

Be inspired by our award-winning learning department

Book your visit

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!

Key Stage 1 & 2: Primary School Programme

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! 

Book this workshop
Materials of the Mary Rose
Tudor materials under the microscope

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!

Book this workshop
Fighting Fit
Were the Mary Rose crew fit to fight?

Dispel some of those myths about Tudor life.  Are we fitter and healthier than our Tudor ancestors?  A series of activities looking at diet and fitness is designed to answer this question. Handle replica artefacts to understand the impact of lifestyle on the officers and crew of the Mary Rose.

Book this workshop
Tudor Gun Drill
Battle plans and cannon fire

Two part challenge: (1) What does it take to work as 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 in the Admiral’s Gallery of the Museum with spectacular views of the Mary Rose

(2) Think big! Teams plan a strategy to attack or defend Portsmouth Harbour in 1545 with ships, castles and soldiers using a contemporary map.  Can you change history? 

Book this workshop
Portsmouth’s Tudor Past
Life in a Tudor town: local history and geography

What was it like to live in the home port of the Mary Rose?  Look at maps, handle replica artefacts and dress up to build up a picture of life in Portsmouth 500 years ago.  How much has the City changed since the time of the Mary Rose?

Book this workshop

Key Stage 3 & 4: Secondary School Programme

Tudor History Mystery
Contribute to the ongoing debate

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. Try to identify mystery replica artefacts. What does this amazing collection reveal about Tudor life?

Book this workshop
STEM at Work
Shipwreck Science, Materials Conservation, Design and Engineering

How was the Mary Rose found and raised? Investigate the changes caused by 437 years under the sea. Handle real samples of Mary Rose wood and discover how she has been preserved for all time in a purpose-built museum. Ideal for Science Week or careers days.

Book this workshop
Strictly Tudor Surgery
Renaissance medicine in action

Just how bad was Tudor medicine? How effective was the Mary Rose Surgeon? Using costumes and replica artefacts as props role-play the Surgeon and his patients in scenarios based on the Mary Rose crew. Medical practice must be strictly Tudor!

Book this workshop
Tudor Masterclass
Pivotal moments in history

Examine inscriptions found on the Mary Rose and explore their significance.  Handle replicas to investigate what the Mary Rose collection tells us about the tumultuous reign King Henry VIII.  Explore evidence of change and continuity in church, state and society, 1509 – 1545.

Book this workshop
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.

Book this workshop

Post-16 Programme

A Level Tudor History
A unique opportunity to immerse students in the Tudor world

See thousands of real artefacts all dating from 1545 in the museum, including some not found anywhere else in the world. Dr David Starkey calls it “England’s Pompeii” – one moment in time preserved for ever. Includes:

  • a conflicting evidence case study
  • a short talk on the intriguing evidence of religious practice from the Mary Rose
  • real and replica artefact handling
  • Optional opportunities to dress up
Book this workshop
Business Studies/Events Management/ Leisure Travel and Tourism
Multi-award winning Mary Rose

Meet the Museum Management Team and put key areas of business in context. Topics offered include: operational issues; customer service; marketing; organisation; running events and managing change.


  • Introductory Talk: Running a Museum Business
  • Structured museum visit investigating key areas of interest
  • Workshop session including practical activities
Book this workshop
Critical Thinking Whole Day Investigation
What sank the Mary Rose?

Supports IB Theory of Knowledge and A Level Arts and Sciences

Encourage critical thinking in 16+ learning. A challenging inter-disciplinary day involving History, Science and Archaeology. Workshop sessions on the sinking of the Mary Rose involve:

  • Examining conflicting evidence
  • Setting, testing and defending hypotheses
  • Group presentations
Book this workshop
Useful information for teachers and leaders

Arrival and supervision around the site

On arrival, make your way to the Mary Rose Museum. You may wish to visit the toilets in Boathouse 7 en 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. Please make museum staff aware of any particular special needs to ensure we can give extra assistance.

The Museum

If you have booked a workshop, you will be allocated a Team Member to facilitate your museum visit. If you have not booked a workshop the museum element is self-guided.

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. 

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. Management staff in non-uniform wear Mary Rose lanyards and badges. 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. 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 pupils with additional needs. 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.   

Boathouse 7 schools' lunch space is available by prior arrangement. Visitors are not permitted to eat their own packed lunch in the Museum Cafe. Please note – this facility is approx. 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 by prior arrangment. 


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


Please express your interest by filling in the form below, or calling us on +44(0)23 9281 2931 (ext. 2261). Please note this form does not constitute a booking.

Cancellation Policy

We require confirmed numbers together with full payment for your booking 21 days prior to your visit to the Mary Rose. Please note, if you have booked workshops, we require 21 days’ notice of cancellation. Cancellation within 21 days will incur charges.

Sandford Winner 2016 Logo White
Quality Badge awarded by Council for Learning Outside the Classroom