Study days

The Museum organises study days for Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 in conjunction with the other museums, collections and academic departments of the University. Study days are designed to stimulate students’ interest in a special topic relevant to their studies while offering insights into academic life at university. They may include talks from academics, hands-on practical sessions facilitated by academic researchers or museum staff, or guided tours when linked to special exhibitions.

For enquiries, fill out our online form or contact

Upcoming study days

gregorian telescope

Women in Astronomy (KS4) – 14 March 2019

Aimed at girls in years 10/11 this study day will highlight the role of women in astronomical research.
Run with the University’s Department of Astrophysics.


​​​​​​​Back from the Dead: Penicillin and Antibiotics  (KS4 and KS5) – dates to be confirmed (spring 2019)

Study days about the amazing story of the development of penicillin and antibiotics with opportunities to meet researchers in the field of antimicrobial resistance from various University departments.

preview image for Back from the Dead showing a stack of slides traced from X-ray crystallography of rubidium penicillin

Medicine and Materials (Year 9/10 Science) – July 2019 (subject to confirmation)

A day of rotating workshop sessions on the use of natural materials and chemical synthesis in medicine at the Museum, the Departments of Chemistry and Materials, and the Oxford University Botanic Garden.

Example of previous study days

nhm and mhs by john cairns 26 10 18 54

Astrophysics (KS5) at the Department of Physics

A study day exploring ideas about the Universe, from a brief history of cosmology to current knowledge about the origins of the Universe. A full programme of lectures in the morning delivered by academics at the cutting edge of research from the University’s Department of Astrophysics, followed by practical workshops after lunch.

conservation george III microscope MHS Inventory No. 35086

​​​​​​​Imaging, Medical and Scientific (KS5) at the Department of Physics

A study day about the use of imaging techniques in a range of scientific practices. A full programme of lectures in the morning including MRI scanning, electron microscopy and the history of scientific imaging, followed by practical workshops in University departments after lunch.


Penicillin (KS5) at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology

During the Second World War, Oxford researchers Florey and Chain developed methods for extracting penicillin and carried out the first successful treatment of a human. Along with Alexander Fleming, they were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1945. A series of lectures traced the history of the discovery and development of production methods of penicillin, modern methods of synthesizing antibiotics, and the use of antibiotics in medical treatment. Workshops took place in the afternoon.

einstein's blackboard 245

Understanding Einstein (KS5) at the Department of Physics

To celebrate the centenary of the theory of Special Relativity, a study day exploring various aspects of Einstein’s life and work. A series of lectures in the morning included a basic introduction to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the great quantum debate, the development of laser technology and an assessment of the impact of his work on modern astronomy.

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