Region: North East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: International Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4EP

Contact: 0191 243 8223



The award-winning Life Science Centre, part of the International Centre for Life, is a unique educational resource based in Newcastle upon Tyne. We offer curriculum enrichment and enhancement through our Science Centre, workshops, activities, equipment, and expertise that complements what is done in schools. We offer over 100 STEM workshops for school groups, covering a wide variety of topics, including volcanoes, coding and animal adaptation. (Please visit the website for a full list of workshops.) The Science Centre also offers a changing programme of big exhibitions. Science Centre visits usually include a visit to Life’s planetarium where we can offer live, presenter-led shows.

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Why you are you a great place for educational visits?

Life’s education team delivers the biggest schools' science workshop programme in any European science centre or museum. Life Science Centre is also home to the North’s biggest and best planetarium. Permanent and temporary exhibitions add an extra dimension to visits. For instance, the Curiosity Zone is full of hands-on exhibits designed to get students cooperating, questioning, testing, experimenting and thinking like scientists.

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?

Life Science Centre is LOtC accredited.

What does a typical educational visit include?

A typical school visit includes time in the Science Centre plus a workshop of your choice in our labs – or you can opt for a workshop or a Science Centre visit only. Workshops are designed so that both the content and style are matched to the target age group and national curriculum where appropriate. Mathstastic is our programme of maths activities which are available on demand for KS2 and KS3. For older students we can discuss the content with the teacher and provide a bespoke session.

What group sizes do you cater for?

The minimum number of pupils per visit is 12, although we are flexible on this depending on your school’s requirements, e.g. for children with learning difficulties. There is no maximum number, but you may be required to split your groups into smaller groups on the day.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?

We provide groups with a schedule detailing times to visit different areas of the Centre, which includes time for lunch and time in the gift shop. This allows you to pace your visit, ensures good flow of visitors around the Centre and makes sure that your group has the opportunity to try everything Life has to offer. Your schedule will be provided on arrival.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?

In general, we encourage visitors to capture and share their visit on social media. However, there may be some exceptions in the changing programme of exhibitions. You will be notified if there are any exhibits that you are prohibited from photographing or filming.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?

You will receive a risk assessment in advance.

Does your venue have an education officer?

Noel Jackson is Head of Education at Life. If you can’t find what you are looking for or want to discuss the best options for your school, you can contact Noel or a member of his team on (0191) 243 8211 or email

What is the cost of the visit?

During ice rink period, 12 Nov 2016 – 26 Feb 2017 and 10 Nov 2017 – 18 Feb 2018:

Skating and Science Centre: £9.00 per pupil

Skating, Science Centre and workshop: £12.00 per pupil

Workshop only: £4.00 per pupil

Mathstastic: £4.00 per pupil

Early Years: £6.00 per pupil

DNA masterclasses: £150 (full class) or £75 (half class – may have to share with another half group)

Cells Tissues and Organs masterclasses: £150 (full class) or £75 (half class – may have to share with another half group)

Outside ice rink period, 27 Feb 2017 – 9 Nov 2017 and 19 Feb 2018 – May 2018:

Workshop and Science Centre: £9.00 per pupil

Workshop only: £4.00 per pupil

Science Centre only: £6.00 per pupil

Mathstastic: £4.00 per pupil

Early Years: £6.00 per pupil

DNA masterclasses: £150 (full class) or £75 (half class – may have to share with another half group)

Cells Tissues and Organs masterclasses: £150 (full class) or £75 (half class – may have to share with another half group)

Outreach: £300 per day

CPD for teachers: £120 per person per day

Teachers: No charge

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

First aid is available on-site. While visiting the Science Centre, if you require first aid assistance, please contact a member of staff or report to reception immediately.

Please list facilities available.

We have two cafes at Life. Times Square Cafe serves hot and cold drinks and snacks, including Starbucks coffee, and the Life Cafe offers a wide range of hot food. Our indoor picnic area is also available for use by education parties and groups for packed lunches. Catering packages are available as part of your visit. We stock a wide range of fun, educational and themed gifts at a variety of prices in our gift shop. We can also provide pre-booked goody bags if required.

What are your disabled facilities?

The Life Science Centre is a fully accessible venue providing access-friendly facilities for all visitors. The education department would be pleased to discuss any special requirements in advance of your visit. Please visit our Accessibility page ( for more information or call (0191) 243 8223.

What are your opening days and hours?

Monday - Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm (recommended last entry 4:00pm)

Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm (recommended last entry 4:00pm)

Life is open as usual on Bank Holidays, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Please note that Life Science Centre will be closed from 9-13 January 2017 inclusive while we make some exciting changes and carry out essential maintenance.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?

Trip Advisor review: "I can't recommend this place enough. It was perfect! As soon as we arrived we were given a detailed timetable and secure place to put our packed lunches. A member of staff was also available to take us to every activity.

We arrived at 10am and left at 2pm but crammed so much in that it felt like longer. All children and staff thoroughly enjoyed this trip and I highly recommend it to anyone."

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College

Type of Visit: Science & Technology

Curriculum Topics Covered: Mathematics Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

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