Everything you need to know about Member benefits, becoming a Member, renewing or changing your Membership and gift Membership.

How to contact us

Membership enquiries

Call us on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.  The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 (except public holidays). We try to answer all calls and emails promptly, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Our postal address

Membership
National Museums Scotland
Freepost EH2842
Edinburgh
EH1 0AR

In the museums

You can join, renew or buy a gift of Membership at any of our museum ticket desks, and pay by cash, credit / debit card or by annual Direct Debit.

Joining and renewing Membership

How do I become a Member?

  • Join online.
  • Visit the Ticket or Information Desk in any of our Museums.
  • Call the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294. The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. We try to answer all calls, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.
  • Email membership@nms.ac.uk to request a call back.

How do I renew my Membership?

If you pay by Direct Debit we will renew your Membership automatically and send you a new Membership card and advance notice of the next collection at least 10 working days in advance of your account being debited. You can cancel future Direct Debit payments at any time.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you will receive a letter to remind you when it is time to renew, around four weeks before your current card expires. You can renew online or by phone or post. If you renew by Direct Debit you can enjoy a discounted price and receive 15 months for the price of 12 in your first year as a Direct Debit payer.

Can I renew my Membership online?

Yes, you can now renew your Membership online. Please note you will need to register as an online user first if you have not already done so.

Why is the Student Membership only available to full-time students?

It is an industry standard that Student Membership is available only to full-time students, however part-time students can still enjoy the concession price charged for exhibitions and events (valid student ID required).

Why don’t you have a Membership for Over 60s/Retired/Seniors? 

The support of National Museums Scotland’s Members is vital to the progress and development of all our sites. A large proportion of our Members are over 60 and a discounted category exclusively for those over 60 would have a significant impact on this crucial and much-needed support.

I am disabled / a carer – what is your admission policy?

Our admission policy admits free of charge a necessary carer or companion accompanying a disabled visitor to our museums, exhibitions and events. This applies to our Membership as well: disabled Members can bring a carer/companion with them for free and for ticketed events (carers also require a booked ticket). We do not offer a concessionary rate on Membership for disabled Members. Our visit planning pages have further information about access for disabled visitors to National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of FlightNational Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum.

Lost and replacement cards

What should I do if I lose my Membership card?

Please ensure that you bring your Membership card with you to claim your Membership benefits, including free entry to exhibitions. If you lose your card, to request a replacement card please call the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email us at membership@nms.ac.uk

The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. We try to answer all calls, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Change of details

I pay for my Membership by Direct Debit. How can I change my bank details?

Please contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 to arrange this.

Can I change the frequency / payment date of my Direct Debit?

No, all Direct Debits are payable as a single annual payment on the first working day of the month (as advised in your joining letter). We are unable to offer monthly Direct Debits as we do not currently have the resources required to manage the increase in administration this would facilitate.

I want to change the second name on my Joint / Family Membership. How can I do this?

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, and are due to renew your Membership, you can amend your category and the names of the Members on the renewal form. However, if you are midway through your Membership or pay by Direct Debit, please contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk and we can make the necessary changes.

Special exhibitions

Do I need to pay for special exhibitions?

As a Member you receive FREE admission to all special exhibitions and you can visit as many times as you like.

Do I need to book tickets for special exhibitions?

Our special exhibitions can be very popular. During peak times (such as school holidays and weekends), you may prefer to book in advance and collect your ticket on the day or have it posted out to you. However, our ticket desk queues are not usually long so booking in advance is not essential. For certain exhibitions we may operate a timed ticket system during extremely busy periods to ensure the safety of our visitors and to ensure the best possible exhibition experience.

I have just joined as a Member and want to visit the special exhibition today. Is the Membership valid straight away?

Yes, Membership is valid from the moment you buy it. If you have joined in person at a Museum, you will be given a temporary Membership card which is valid for one month and can be used immediately for entry into special exhibitions as well as accessing all your other great benefits. If you have joined online you will receive a confirmation email of the purchase, which you can either print off or show on your smartphone as proof of Membership. Annual Direct Debit payments are not taken on the day you join, but are scheduled ahead of time to allow us to set up the instruction with your bank. Your permanent Membership card will be sent out in around 10-15 working days, but if you need it sooner please contact us.

Can I bring a guest to the special exhibition? Can I bring a child?

If you have bought “Guest Membership” you can bring a guest of any age - you will have one Membership card which will show “Individual and Guest” under the category.

You can upgrade Individual Membership to include a Guest or a second named Member for £10 if you currently pay by Direct Debit, or for £13 if you pay by any other method. Upgrades can only be organised by the Membership Team so please call 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.

All of our museums welcome children and under 5s go free to our museums, special exhibitions and most events. Up to three children between the age of 5 and 15 are included as part of a Family Membership. If you wish to upgrade your Membership this can only be organised by the Membership Team, so please call 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.

Do Members get special rates to big events at National Museums of Flight and Rural Life?

Members get FREE entry to the big events at National Museum of Flight and National Museum of Rural Life (excluding Scotland’s National Airshow – see below). These include Wartime Experience, Country Fair, Awesome Bricks, Heavy Horse Show, Wheels and Wings Show and Christmas Fair at the Farm. Please note there is a car parking fee of £4 per car for all visitors including Members at the Wheels and Wings Show.

To guarantee entry we recommend that you book a free ticket before you go; the special Member booking codes for these events will be emailed in our regular e-bulletins around a month in advance of each event. To make sure you receive these please make sure you remain subscribed to our emails and that you have added ‘membership@nms.ac.uk’ to your safe list (otherwise check your spam or junk folders).

As well as free entry to the above events, Members also receive a generous Early Bird discount for Scotland’s National Airshow at National Museum of Flight. Early Bird tickets must be purchased before the advertised cut-off date. Please visit the National Museum of Flight webpage for further details; please note that ticket prices for the event are confirmed each spring. 

Member tickets are only valid for active Members and you must bring your valid Membership card with you to the Airshow. You may be denied entry if you book Member tickets for a big event or purchase a Member Airshow ticket and are not covered by a valid Membership at the time of the event.

Tim Peake Virtual Reality event (National Museum of Scotland)

The Tim Peake VR experience will run from 17 May to 4 August 2018. All tickets will cost £5.00 with no concessionary or complimentary tickets offered; this also includes Members who will be charged £5.00 per ticket.

Members' events

Are there any special events for Members?

Yes, there are a variety of events each year exclusively for Members, including exhibition Private Views, where you can explore the current special exhibition after hours and often enjoy an exclusive talk.

Members can also take advantage of our free or discounted tickets to events as part of our extensive adult events programme. Hear experts talk about fascinating topics and gain a deeper understanding of the work of National Museums Scotland. These are subject to availability.

Information about Members’ events is advertised in advance: your Explorer magazine will contain details of any upcoming Member-only events and these are also listed online when the free tickets are available to book. If you have provided an email address you will automatically receive Member notifications with details of priority booking, discounts and free tickets for events as part of your Membership benefits. You can unsubscribe from these by following the link at the bottom of these emails. Also take a look at our website where we list our events and special offers for Members.

However if you would also like to hear the latest news about forthcoming exhibitions, our work, events, products, special offers and ways of supporting National Museums Scotland, the easiest way is for us to inform you via our regular Member eBulletins and visitor eNewsletters. To receive these please contact membership@nms.ac.uk to be added to these lists. You can also unsubscribe from these emails at any time by following the link at the bottom of these emails

How do I book for lectures and events?

You can book for Member and public events by contacting our Museums’ ticket desks:

  • Call 0300 123 6789 (select the relevant museum, then select option 1)
  • Visit the specific event web page and book online
  • Book in person at any museum ticket desk.

Please note that booking fees may apply. Please see our terms and conditions for more information. Bookings for any events cannot be made via the Membership Office.

Using your Membership

Can I lend my Membership card to my partner or a friend?

Only the named Member may use their Membership card. Membership cards should not be passed on to third parties for use, and may be de-activated if abuse of the card is suspected. You can share your enjoyment with a friend or family member by upgrading to a Joint or Guest Membership from £10 if you pay by Direct Debit or from £13 if you pay by another method. Contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or membership@nms.ac.uk.

Can I bring a guest?

You can bring as many people as your Membership allows. If you have opted to purchase a Guest Membership, you can bring a guest (your card will say “Individual and Guest” under the category). If you have Joint or Family Membership, each named Member will receive their own card which can be used together or independently.

Family Membership can be used for up to two named adults and up to three children under 16 years, or one adult and up to four children under 16 years.

As a Member, how do I find out about forthcoming Museum exhibitions and events?

If you have provided an email address you will automatically receive Member notifications with details of priority booking, discounts and free tickets for events as part of your Membership benefits. You can unsubscribe from these by following the link at the bottom of these emails.

However, if you would also like to hear the latest news about forthcoming exhibitions, our work, events, products, special offers and ways of supporting National Museums Scotland, the easiest way is for us to inform you via our regular Member eBulletins and visitor eNewsletters. To receive these please contact membership@nms.ac.uk to be added to these lists. You can also unsubscribe from these emails at any time by following the link at the bottom of these emails.

Do Members get free admission to Edinburgh Castle to visit the National War Museum?

No, the National War Museum is situated inside Edinburgh Castle, which is a site owned by Historic Environment Scotland. As such, Members of National Museums Scotland receive a 10% discount on Castle admission rather than free entry. Access to the National War Museum itself is free of charge.

On visiting Edinburgh Castle as a National Museums Scotland Member, please proceed to Visitor Information to purchase your discounted ticket. This should also allow you to bypass any queues at the Ticket Desk.

Do Members get free use of the museum cloakroom?

No, Members do not receive free use of the cloakroom. We charge £1.50 per item. Please be aware that any items deposited in our museum cloakrooms are left at your own risk.

Do Members get special discounts in the shops and cafés?

Members receive a 20% discount in all the museum cafés and a 10% discount in all museum shops, including the online shop. Just show your Membership card at the start of your transaction to claim your discount. Look out for your online shop discount code in the letter accompanying your new/renewed Membership cards and in our regular Member e-bulletins. 

Members do not receive a discount at the Tower Restaurant situated on the rooftop of the National Museum of Scotland.

How do I find out about Member-specific special offers?

If you have provided an email address you will automatically receive Member notifications with details of priority booking, discounts and free tickets for events as part of your Membership benefits. You can unsubscribe from these by following the link at the bottom of these emails. Also take a look at our website where we list our events and special offers for Members.

However, if you would also like to hear the latest news about forthcoming exhibitions, our work, events, products, special offers and ways of supporting National Museums Scotland, the easiest way is for us to inform you via our regular Member eBulletins and visitor eNewsletters. To receive these please contact membership@nms.ac.uk to be added to these lists. You can also unsubscribe from these emails at any time by following the link at the bottom of these emails.

Gift Membership

If I want my gift sent directly to my friend, when will it be sent?

Any gift Membership to be sent directly to the recipient will be sent within 10 working days. Please contact us if you require it for a specific date. 

When do gift Memberships start?

Gift Memberships start from the moment the recipient receives their Membership card(s).

When do gift Memberships expire?

The expiry date will be the last day of the month 12 months after the Membership is purchased if paid by cash or debit / credit card, and 15 months after purchase if payment is made by annual Direct Debit.

I've bought a gift by Direct Debit. When will you be debiting my account?

We will send out a letter advising you of your payment collection at least 10 working days before your first payment.

I've received a renewal reminder for a gift Membership which I bought in the past. Can I renew this online?

You can now renew your purchase of a gift of Membership online. Alternatively, please return the completed renewal form or contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or membership@nms.ac.uk to renew a gift Membership.

Gift Aid

Gift Aid allows you to increase the value of your Membership fee by enabling us to reclaim tax that you have already paid at basic rate through UK income tax and/or capital gains tax.

For every £1 you give, we can claim an additional 25p from HMRC. So, for example, if you purchased an Individual Membership at £44, National Museums Scotland would receive an additional £11 from HMRC, without you paying a penny more.

Simply complete the Gift Aid declaration on the online Membership form, downloadable application form or let us know when you purchase a Membership over the phone.

Further information
Please note that the amount you pay in UK income tax and/or capital gains tax must at least equal the amount National Museums Scotland claims on all your donations in that tax year. If you would like to know more about Gift Aid, please contact our Development Team via email on development@nms.ac.uk or telephone 0131 247 4095

Contact us

Membership
National Museums Scotland
Freepost EH2842
Edinburgh
EH1 0AR

Tel: 0131 247 4294
membership@nms.ac.uk

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Discover the story of Scottish pop music as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day in our new exhibition.

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