Inspiring places to study with a Student Art Pass

Published 21 November 2019

Bored of the library? Study in style with your Student Art Pass and break out the books at these 10 revision-friendly museums and galleries.

Museums and galleries are great places to escape the grind and have some downtime – but these creative spaces also offer a fresh place to get work done, and find new perspectives on your studies.

Whether post-Christmas exams are looming or you just want a change of scene while you battle an essay, why not use your Student Art Pass to park your laptop somewhere a little bit different?

And when you're ready for a break, great art and fantastic exhibitions are just a few feet away.

Take a look at our 10 picks below, and remember to check out the many other museums and galleries near you. We think you'll find just the spot to give your brain a boost.


British Library

It's the mothership of study spaces and tailor-made to help you sail through your revision. Four floors of reading rooms require free registration to enter, but if you don’t need to use the collections, join your fellow scholars at the many public desks and seating areas, and rejoice in free WiFi and plug sockets.



Join Bristol’s freelancers in this favourite hangout and alternate hard work with watching boats glide by. As Arnolfini is an international contemporary arts centre, there's loads to do when your brain goes fuzzy: wander the free exhibitions, browse the specialist bookshop, and if you like locally brewed beer, you don't even need to leave your seat at the end of the day.


National Museum of Scotland

You won’t be short of inspiration or places to study in this large, wide-ranging museum. Its collections cover nature, art, fashion, design, science and technology, so find yourself a nook and settle in. The Balcony Café is a good spot when you want to refuel and gain some perspective; it overlooks the Grand Gallery, the museum’s spectacular, light-filled atrium.


Barbican Art Gallery

If you’re planning a major session, you can disappear into the Barbican Centre – a giant of brutalist architecture – and not emerge until 11pm. With plenty of study areas, you can find a space even if you're in a group, and you don’t need to leave the complex to revive yourself with art, cinema, music, theatre or, indeed, food.

Staircase with Lothar Götz wall painting, Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery

Perfectly positioned between Leeds' central library and art gallery – all housed within the same building – the grand Tiled Hall Café was originally the library’s reading room. What better place for students seeking a good study spot? Before you head out again, lose yourself in artist Lothar Götz’s immersive wall painting, which was funded through our crowdfunding platform.


The Whitworth

The first English gallery to be set in a park when it was founded in 1889, the Whitworth truly makes the most of its natural setting. Avoid cabin fever by heading to the ‘café in the trees’ where you can enjoy the beautiful art garden, even when it's raining. As an extra cherry on the cake, you can also enjoy 10% off in the shop with your Student Art Pass.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Sainsbury Centre

Treat your brain to a study session in the light-filled architectural marvel that is the Sainsbury Centre. The Modern Life Café looks over the sculpture garden – perfect for screen breaks – and inside you can put exam stress into perspective by contemplating 5,000 years of art and history.


Tate Britain

Take your laptop to Tate Britain and enjoy some quiet concentration in the library (registration is free) or pour yourself a cup of tea while poring over your books in the café. Oh, and there’s 600 years’ worth of masterpieces to look at if you get bored.


Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

With more than 40 galleries displaying everything from Pre-Raphaelite paintings to archaeological finds, there's plenty at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to fire up tired brains. The beautiful and spacious Edwardian Tearooms are the perfect place to mull over an essay or bury your nose in a book, and, even better, all café purchases are 10% off with a Student Art Pass.


GoMA, Gallery of Modern Art

It's one of Scotland's most visited museums, but not everyone knows GoMA's iconic neo-classical building also houses a lovely library. A relaxing place to study in the heart of the city's shopping district, with a great café and international contemporary art under the same roof – your bedroom just can't compete.

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