Our vision at National Museums Scotland to be a World Class Museum that “inspires people, connecting Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland” is particularly significant in helping young people prepare for life and the world of work.
At National Museums Scotland we recognise the value work experience offers to young people in developing key skills in active citizenship, increased self-esteem, communication, organisation, teamwork and ICT.
It can also increase a young person’s awareness of career choices available within a museum environment, and promote the concept of lifelong learning by helping to raise awareness of how rights and responsibilities, equal opportunities, health and safety and environmental issues apply in the workplace.
You can read about the experiences of some of our students on our blog.
You will spend your week in one of our departments with a variety of staff, working on a range of activities that will allow you to see how that department operates and what they do. As our collections are very valuable and often require expert handling, you will mainly be shadowing, observing and assisting staff with aspects of their work.
You may also be involved with:
Work experience takes place across all our museums depending where there are places and staff that can support you. However, the main work experience weeks take place at National Museum of Scotland or the National Museums Collection Centre, both in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian and the National Museum of Rural Life at East Kilbride. You will mainly be behind the scenes at these sites working with staff in their offices, and of the museum they need to go to do the tasks required.
Each department taking part in work experience week will have a staff member whose role is a Placement Coordinator; they are responsible for the overall organisation and planning of the week. They along with all the staff involved in your work experience week will provide the adequate information, instruction, training and supervision required to help you while you are with us.
To be considered for a work experience place at National Museums Scotland you must be aged between 15 and 18 years old. To apply, you must complete an application form specifying the department and reference number you are applying to. When new opportunities become available you can apply online or by downloading a PDF form. You can apply online or download the application form [PDF 125KB] and return it to the Volunteers Coordinator at the address indicated at the end of the form.
Only one application per person is allowed, therefore sending multiple forms for each opportunity offered will greatly affect your chances of not being selected. Ideally you should apply up to eight weeks before your school's work experience week is due to take place, in order for us to administer your application properly.
Selection will be made based on a number of factors:
Competition for placements is extremely high, so please bear this in mind when filling out your application.
As work experience at our museums is very popular and due to the number of application forms we receive, we are sorry we cannot acknowledge a receipt of your form. For this reason you will only be contacted again if your application has been successful and we would like to offer you a place; or you are being invited to attend an interview to help select the best candidate. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the placement date it is unlikely you have been successful.