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Learning at Surgeons' Hall Museums

The Surgeons’ Hall Museums Learning Team have developed an inclusive educational programme for a range of audiences including schools, colleges, universities, community groups, families and adult learners.


Our fascinating collections offer many opportunities to study cross circular links between art, science, history and English. We are always happy to try and arrange sessions that meet your learning needs and support the Curriculum for Excellence.  If you are looking for a session in addition to the ones listed below, please contact us to see if we can help.

Key Information for educational visits

Risk Assessment

Secondary school workshops

History of Medicine (45 minutes)

Students explore the exciting developments that have occurred in medicine over the last 500 years, including the discovery of anaesthetics and antiseptics.  Tasks include handling old surgical instruments, preparing for a modern operation and learning how to administer an anaesthetic.

History of Medicine Curriculum for Excellence links. 

History of Medicine Printable Worksheet 

The reality behind Fleshmarket (30 minutes)

Aimed at pupils reading the novel Fleshmarket, this workshop uses handling objects to learn the real story of Burke and Hare and 19th century surgery. 

The reality behind Fleshmarket Curriculum for Excellence links.

Surgical Skills (45 minutes)

Experience life as a surgeon by trying out techniques used by the College to train surgeons.  Find out how to scrub up for theatre, give an anaesthetic and stitch up a patient.

Surgical Skills Curriculum for Excellence links.

Surgical Skills Printable Worksheet

Please note: due to the nature of this workshop we can only accommodate 14 students per session.

Exploring Mutations (30 minutes)

Aimed at higher and advanced higher biology pupils, this workshop uses pathology samples to explore the effects of DNA mutations. Pupils explore genotypes and the corresponding phenotypes.  There is an option to extend this workshop with a debate on prenatal screening and the current options available.

Exploring the Pathology of Cardiovascular disease (30 minutes)

Aimed at higher human biology pupils, this workshop uses pathology samples to explore the effects of cardiovascular disease.  Pupils explore examples of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. 

Primary School Workshops
Suitable for P5+

Our Amazing Body (45 minutes)

Using hands on, fun activities children discover the fascinating functions of the human body, with a focus on digestion, the respiratory and circulatory system.

Our Amazing Body Curriculum for Excellence links.

Our Amazing Body: Digestive System Printable Worksheet

Our Amazing Body: Respiration System Printable Worksheet

Surgery in the past (45 minutes)

What was surgery like hundreds of years ago? Using handling objects discover what it would have been like to have an operation without any pain relief. Find out about some of the big breakthroughs that happened here in Scotland that led to modern day surgery. 

Surgery in the past Curriculum for Excellence links.

Surgery in the past printable worksheet

Online Workshops

If you are too far away to visit the museum the Learning Team at Surgeons’ Hall Museums are pleased to offer a free live online version of their History of Medicine (Secondary) and Surgery in the Past (Primary) workshops. You can find out more information from the PDF below.

If you would like to discuss bringing your class along to the museum, please get in touch.

Free online workshops for schools


Further Education

We offer guided tours for colleges, universities & community groups and try to tailor these to your area of study/interest wherever possible.


Keep an eye on our events page for fun filled family learning events organised throughout the year.

Classroom Resources 

You can find a whole range of resources from quizes to colouring for use in your classroom here.

For more information about educational visits including pricing please email or call 0131 527 1650.

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