Find some headspace with a Student Art Pass

If you're feeling the pressures of student life – from deadlines to decisions about where to spend time with friends – why not use your Student Art Pass to break out of routine haunts and find inspiration among the world’s treasures?

Whether you’re looking for some fresh ideas, a quiet place to study or just a change of scene, we’ve picked out nine museums and galleries that make the grade.


British Library

While the largest library in the world is the mothership of study spaces, it’s also an amazing place to ditch the books and have yourself some downtime. Wander into one of the free temporary exhibitions and enjoy 50% off the major shows with your Student Art Pass; explore the Treasures of the British Library collection, or simply treat yourself to something tasty from the café and enjoy the cathedral-like serenity of the building.


Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Famous for its pre-Raphaelite paintings, this museum and gallery’s collection actually covers everything from jewellery to archaeology, so whatever you’re into, you’ll find it here. The beautiful and spacious Edwardian Tearooms are the perfect place to relax with friends, take time out or mull over an essay – and, even better, all café purchases are 10% off with a Student Art Pass.



Join Bristol’s freelancers in this favourite hangout and pretend to do some work while eating cake and watching boats glide by. And as it’s an international contemporary arts centre, there's plenty to do: you can improve your mind with the free exhibitions and browse the specialist bookshop (tell yourself it’s the same as being in the library), and, when you’re finally exhausted from all that (non-) work, reward yourself with more cake or a locally brewed beer.


Tate Britain

While Tate Modern on the South Bank is a great place to clear your head, it’s often packed with people who’ve had the same idea. Why not sail upriver to Tate Britain instead, and lose yourself among 600 years’ worth of masterpieces? And if you’re after some quiet concentration, the library is a haven of peace – or you can just chill out in the café.


Barbican Art Gallery

If you want to run away from the daily grind and go into hiding for a while, you can disappear into the giant of brutalist architecture that is the Barbican and not emerge until 11pm. As well as the art gallery, there are plenty of areas where you can chill out with a book or some mates and you don’t need to leave the complex to revive yourself with art, cinema, music, theatre or, indeed, food.


National Museum of Scotland

When your brain is overheating, head for this large, wide-ranging museum. Its collections cover nature, art, fashion, design, science and technology, so you can wander for ages or find yourself a nook and get some headspace. The Balcony Café is a good spot if you want to refuel and gain some perspective; it overlooks the Grand Gallery, the museum’s spectacular, light-filled atrium, and Window on the World, a showcase of objects from across the museum rising four stories high – the largest single museum installation in the UK.

Staircase with Lothar Götz wall painting, Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery

Perfectly positioned between Leeds' central library and art gallery, all within the same building, the grand Tiled Hall Café was originally the library’s reading room. What better place for students seeking inspiration, study time, or a cuppa? Be sure to take in Lothar Götz’s immersive wall painting, which was funded in 2017 through our crowdfunding platform Art Happens, and lead visitors up the psychedelic staircase to the new galleries above.


V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

From fashion to sculpture, book art to ceramics, if you head to the V&A you'll be inspired by 5,000 years of human creativity. The Art Library is a stunning location if you’re moved to do some work, but we suggest you wander through the vast galleries and kick back in one of the several beautiful cafés.


Manchester Museum

  • Greater Manchester
  • Free to all

If you want a break from your usual studies or need some research tips from the experts, head to The Study on the top floor of Manchester Museum. It’s a unique series of spaces where you can use the museum’s collection, tools and resources to pursue an old interest or pick up a new one. On your way back down, look out for some of the artefacts Art Fund has helped buy, from ancient jewellery to a helmet dating from the 6th century BC.

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