Region: Yorkshire

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Thackray Medical Museum, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS9 7LN

Contact: 0113 244 4343



A visit to Thackray Medical Museum allows students to immerse themselves in the incredible world of medicine. Explore a recreated Victorian slum street, find out about scientific discoveries that have changed the world and investigate surgery from the Victorian era to the present day. Suitable for Key Stage 1 right through to secondary and FE and HE, the museum offers a range of packages to suit each area of study.

The museum covers medical developments from the Victorian period right through to modern day surgery and techniques. Some of the main themes include:
• Public health in the 1800s and Victorian healthcare
• Scientific discoveries including vaccines and antibiotics
• Surgery pre-anesthesia and antiseptics
• Innovations in surgery
• Modern day surgery and the impact of plastics on medicine
• Medicine and conflict
• Having a baby
• How the body works and how to stay healthy (a gallery aimed at younger children)

The museum offers a range of workshops and resources. For full details please see our website or speak to our learning team on 0113 244 4343.

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Why you are you a great place for educational visits?
Situated in the old Leeds Union Workhouse, Thackray Medical Museum is the only museum of its kind in the North of England. The combination of stimulating settings and hands-on exhibitions appeal to students of all ages, abilities and learning styles.

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?
The museum has been awarded the Sandford Award for Heritage Education for a number of years. This is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

What does a typical educational visit include?
All visits include full access to the museum galleries and can include one of the following workshops or talks led by a member of museum staff:

Florence Nightingale
Key Stage 1
2 hours
Join Miss Nightingale on an exciting journey to the Crimea.
Explore the horrors of wartime hospitals before Florence Nightingale and see how conditions improved.
Includes object handling, role-play and chronological investigations

Victorians Alive!
Key Stage 2
2 hours
Spend your day as a Victorian.
Discover how Victorians lived and experience first-hand the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian life. Find out about Victorian illnesses and the cures on offer.

Life at the Workhouse
Key Stage 2
2 hours
Join the Workhouse Matron to discover how the poorest Victorians lived.
Explore the harsh realities of the Workhouse and discover how inmates worked, ate, played and learnt.

Curing the King – An investigation into the Tudor Apothecary
Key Stage 2
2 hours
Join the Tudor Wise Woman in an adventure of a lifetime to learn about Tudor medicine.
Use historical enquiry and team work to learn about medical astrology, the four humours and much more, in an attempt to cure one of history’s most notorious kings.

Teeth and Healthy Eating
Key Stage 2
1 hour
Learn about the differences in human and animal teeth, and find out how people looked after their teeth in the past. Take part in a fun interactive digestion experiment and find out about the importance of healthy eating.

Make your own Museum
Key Stage 2 upwards
2 hours
Find out how museums both investigate the past, and make objects and artefacts come to life. Tour the museum to look at interpretation styles, text writing and interactive exhibits, before creating your own mini museum.

Hands on History: WWI: Unknown Heroes
Key Stage 3 – 4
2 hours
Become a historian and use a wide range of sources and objects to find out how and why WWI changed the world of medicine. Investigate the lives of individuals involved in the war to learn about how the wounded and the sick were evacuated and treated.

Public Health Reforms
Key Stage 3 – 4
1 hour
Investigate 19th Century Leeds and the Public Health Reforms that changed the face of the city. Find out about Leeds as an industrial city and the Public Health concerns that blighted Victorian society.

Pain, Pus and Blood
Key Stage 4
1 hour
A comprehensive talk exploring the developments in three elements of Surgery from 1845 – 1918 – pain relief, infection control and blood loss.

Tour of our recreated 1842 street: focusing on germs and disease
All ages
1 hour
Transport your students back in time to an era of dirt, disease and death. Experience first-hand the living conditions and Public Health concerns of working class Victorians in Leeds.

Legacies of our Medical Past
A level or vocational students studying Health and Social Care, Clinical Sciences or Healthcare
1 hour
How does our medical past influence and inform the choices we make today? Explore changing theories about health, the range of diagnostics and treatments offered and how this has a direct impact on health choices and beliefs today.

What group sizes do you cater for?
We can accommodate up to 200 students in the galleries. Workshops take a maximum of 36 per group, however we can run more than one workshop per day. Please check with the education team for full details.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?
We have a range of paper resources for different Key Stages which complement a museum visit. These can be purchased via our website or in the museum shop.

For those teaching the new GCSE History specifications, we have a range of new resources including lesson plans, images from the museum galleries, scripted dramas, interactive online trails, timelines and AV clips. Please speak to our education department for further information.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?
You are welcome to take video and photographs in the galleries, but please speak to a member of staff before taking photos or filming in the workshops.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
We provide guidelines for risk assessment, but we encourage teachers to complete their own risk assessments prior to a visit. We allow two teachers to come free of charge on a familiarisation visit to allow for full planning and risk assessment.

Does your venue have an education officer?
Our Education Bookings Officer is Marie Sutton-Chidwick. Call 0113 244 4343 or email

What is the cost of the visit?
Primary Schools:
Entry to the museum: £4.50 per student
Two hour workshops: an additional £2 per student
One hour talks and tours: an additional £1 per student

Secondary Schools:
Entry to the museum: £5.95
Two hour workshops: an additional £2 per student
One hour talks and tours: an additonal £1 per student

Please check on booking for the number of free teachers you will receive for your group size.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?
No specific clothing is required, but please feel free to come dressed up for the Florence Nightingale, Victorians and Workhouse Workshops.

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

Please list facilities available.
We have a shop on site with lots of pocket money items and we can arrange for goody bags to be ready to collect on the day if you do not have time to visit the shop during your visit. We have a café on site and you can pre-order food which we will have ready at a specified time. Lunchrooms are available to pre-book for packed lunches.

What are your disabled facilities?
The museum is fully accessible with a level access toilet and a lift to the first floor. Hearing loops are available on the galleries. Please make our staff aware on booking of any special requirements within your group.

What are your opening days and hours?
We are open seven days a week from 10am-5pm and until 8.30pm on the third Thursday of every month.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
This really brought to life what they had learnt in school North Rigton Primary School

Very informative, interesting and educational. The examples used illustrate the ideas behind medical practice well. Hillsborough College

The whole group gave the workshop 10 out of 10. One child said it was ‘magic’ and a number of pupils said it was ‘the best visit ever’. Swain House School

The children were buzzing with enjoyment! They were kept busy the whole time and two hours whizzed by ever so quickly. A very enjoyable morning and very educational too! Carlinghow Princess Royal School

Brilliant, fun introduction to the topic. Very hands-on. Crossley Street Primary School

It went down really well; the students were buzzing afterwards! We stood outside the museum and carried on discussions. Leeds Institute of Health Sciences

An excellent visit which our students greatly enjoyed. They learnt a lot from you! Queen Elizabeth Grammar School

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

Type of Visit: Historic Buildings Museums Science & Technology

Curriculum Topics Covered: History Science

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