Cultural Explorers Programme

As the first civic university in the UK, we have a long established tradition of encouraging public engagement with cultural collections and in promoting wider understanding of arts and science. We educate and entertain around a million visitors each year to our four cultural institutions.

Access to culture, science and museums still remains the preserve of society’s most advantaged groups. Our Cultural Explorers programme aims to promote an entitlement to culture all local pupils to engage in an exciting out-of-classroom learning experience in one of our four University cultural institutions – Manchester Museum, the Whitworth, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and The John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

The long term aim is to encourage schools to embed visiting into their curriculum and develop long lasting partnerships with the cultural institutions. Both the schools and the University encourage the parents of the children to revisit and so improve their access to culture and science.

Impact of the Cultural Explorers Programme

  • 24 schools have participated in at least 1 year of the programme since 2014 (96% of the target schools).
  • Over 4,000 pupils have participated in the programme through funded visits
  • 100% of surveyed teachers rated their workshops as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experiences for the children.

In 2019-20, we’ll be piloting a new version of the Cultural Explorers Programme that will enable both teachers and children to develop a deeper understanding of their local culture, science and heritage; will involve in-depth work with a local artist, and will culminate in a celebratory event at the University of Manchester’s annual Community Festival in June.

Schools in the wards neighbouring the University of Manchester - Longsight, Hulme, Rusholme, Moss Side, Ardwick and City - can find out more on the Cultural Explorers webpage.