Group bookings FAQs

Booking your visit
1.    When are you open?
The museum is open Monday 12:00-16:30, Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-16:30
On some bank holiday Mondays and during Oxfordshire school half term we open at 10:00 on Monday, please check the website for opening hours. 

2.    What counts as a group?
We consider groups to be any group over 10 people, or any number of people visiting the museum as part of a school, university, community group, or other organisation. It is the standard policy across all Oxford University Museums to turn away un-booked groups. 

3.    I contacted the Museum to make a booking but didn’t get a reply, can I still come?
No, all groups must receive a Booking Confirmation form which is to be presented to Front of House staff before the group enter the Museum. Our staff must be aware of all groups visiting, so that they can manage the Museum capacity.

4.    Can I book for another University Museum at the same time? 
Bookings for other University Museums must be made through their individual booking systems. 
Museum of Natural History: education@oum.ox.ac.uk, 01865 282451
Museum of History of Science: primary@mhs.ox.ac.uk, secondary+post16@mhs.ox.ac.uk, 01865 277297 
Ashmolean: education.service@ashmus.ox.ac.uk, 01865 278015

5.    How many adults do I need to bring? 
We require a ratio of one adult to ten children under the age of 16.

 

Getting here
1.    Is there a coach drop-off point?
Due to weight restrictions, coaches must not turn into the Museum forecourt. The closest official coach drop-off/pick-up points are St Giles and Beaumont Street. They are both about a 5 minute walk away from our museum, and very close to the Ashmolean.

2.    Is there parking at the museum or nearby? 
Unfortunately, there is no parking available at the Museum. We have one bookable Blue Badge space. There is on-street pay and display parking near the Museum, but we advise visitors to use the Park and Ride. 

3.    What do we do when we arrive? 
If arriving at the main entrance, we ask that one person, usually a teacher, announces their arrival to the Museum of Natural History Front of House, then takes the group into the Pitt Rivers Museum where they will be met by a member of Front of House.  If self-guided, the group will receive a brief Health and Safety introduction from a member of Front of House. If they are being taught the Health and Safety introduction will be covered by the session leader. If using the Robinson Close entrance off South Parks Road, please announce your arrival at reception and carry on through to the Museum for your introduction.

 

Access
Please refer to our Access Information Leaflet for any queries. If you have any further questions regarding your needs, please contact the Museum on 01865 270927 or email prm@prm.ox.ac.uk

 

Facilities
1.    Where can we leave coats and bags?
When available, storage trolleys will be provided for primary schools and groups with taught sessions. We cannot guarantee the safety of possessions in the storage trolleys so students should take valuable items with them.

2.    Can we eat our lunch at the Museum?
Our lunchroom can be booked in half-hour slots between 11:30 and 13:30 costing £25 with a maximum of 40 students. The lunchroom is in very popular demand, so be sure to book early. 
Information on alternative lunch venues can be found here.

3.    Is there a café?
No, the Museum does not currently have a café. There is a café on the upper floor of the Museum of Natural History which is usually open between 10:00 and 16:30. Please be aware that group visits to the Museum of Natural History must be booked separately.

4.    Can school groups visit the shop?
School groups are more than welcome to visit the shop in groups of 10. We also offer pre-made pocket money packs which can be ordered when you book. Please contact us for more information at shop@prm.ox.ac.uk 

5.    Where are the toilets?
The toilets are along the Long Corridor, which is located next to the lift. From entering the Pitt Rivers Museum, turn immediately right into the stairwell and take a left to the Long Corridor. Toilets are Unisex and there are accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.

 

Museum rules
1.    Can we eat and drink in the Museum?
Food and drink are not permitted in the Museum. If you think your students might require food or drink during their visit, please feel free to use the Museum lawn for a brief break.

2.    Can we wear backpacks in the Museum?
Backpacks and other luggage are permitted, but we ask that you are considerate of the fragile glass cases and other visitors, particularly in the Court (Ground floor).  

3.    Can we take photographs in the Museum?
Photography is welcomed and encouraged in the Museum, and flash is permitted, except where otherwise indicated. We do not permit the use of tripods or selfie-sticks.

4.    Can we draw in the Museum?
We welcome and encourage visitors to draw in the Museum. There are portable stools located directly to the left as you enter the main gallery.  Please ensure that pupils do not fold out stools in a manner that will obstruct other visitor’s ability to navigate the galleries.  We ask all pupils to put the stools away when they are finished.

Permissible art materials include: Graphite pencils, coloured pencils, fine-line pens, biros, collage materials such as tissue paper, fabric and string, scissors, water-based glue sticks and staplers may all be used. If you decide to do collage in the Museum you must ensure that you do not leave any mess behind. Boards without clips may be used. No wet materials, charcoal or pastels.

 

Finance
1.    Is there a charge for school visits?
Self-guided visits are free of charge, though we are always grateful for donations. Taught sessions are charged. For more information on sessions and fees please see here.

2.    How does the school pay? 
When the booking is made the school will receive a conformation email and an invoice will be sent from the University Finance Division at the start of the month following their visit. We do not currently accept Credit Card or cash payments. 

3.    Do I have to pay VAT? 
No, we do not charge VAT on taught sessions. 

4.    I have 36 pupils will I have to pay twice as much? 
Yes, you will need to split the group for two sessions. For information on capacities for group visits please see here.

5.    Are we charged if we cancel? 
If you cancel with 28 days’ notice, your fee will be reneged and you will not be invoiced.  

6.    Do we get a discount if we’re late through no fault of our own and the session is shorter? 
No, but the Museum will do as much as they can to accommodate schools that turn up late. 

7.    Why have the Museums introduced charging for taught sessions?
The University Museums’ award-winning Education and Outreach service costs almost one million pounds a year to run. Although the Museums receive some public funding to support this service (from Arts Council England and the Higher Education Funding Council for England) this funding only covers a proportion of these costs. We believe a standard charge is more equitable and will provide more secure income to sustain the service. 
 

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