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Derby Computer Museum
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School & college field trips

We are also available for Scouts, Guides, Youth clubs etc visits.

1. Intro

Well, where do we begin!? Without the younger generations looking at technology and thinking “wow!”, “I wonder?”, or “what if?”, where would we be today? The obvious forefront of what we do is to preserve and maintain computing history. But why? One of the main reasons is... to educate and inspire!!!

Computing, the internet, and most things involving anything technological powered by electricity have evolved rapidly in such a short space of time which makes it all the more important to do our best to preserve, document and maintain it. As well as doing this for sheer nostalgia, we believe that understanding technology past helps younger generations shape technology future.

Let us show your group the history of computing, so that they can make the future...

Lots to learn, see and do

  • 55 hands on machines from 1970s to year 2000 - see, touch and use. Fully working, and each with a write up next to them explaining their history.
  • 6 themed rooms; each with a different area of computing history
  • Educational worksheets / cribsheets for each room
  • STEM workshops run by one of our experienced volunteers

How our school visits are run

As a registered charity that provides work experience for young adults with special educational needs (SEN), we have partnered with Horizons Sixth Form who are based just a few doors down from us. Our school visits are run by one of our volunteers, together with teachers and students from Horizons. The students from Horizons are able to improve their confidence and communication skills, and have studied a bit about each room in the museum so that they can provide information about the exhibits to your pupils.

2. Ages we can accomodate

Our school trips are currently aimed at years 5 and 6 (primary school) and years 7 and 8 (secondary school).

We plan to cater for other year groups, college and university students in future. Please contact us to enquire.

3. Times, availability and schedule

Thursdays 9.30am to 12pm is when Horizons open the museum for school visits

We may be available at other times by request.

Time Activity

Arrival at the museum where we'll split the students into five groups (this is done outside by front entrance to the museum). Alternatively, if you are able to split your students into 5 groups before hand that would be wonderful

Explanation of where toilets and where fire exits are

Explanation of rules (eg no eating/drinking by exhibits)


Group 1 - 70s/80s room
Group 2 - Japanese room
Group 3 - British room
Group 4 - PC room and Apple room
Group 5 - STEM hands-on activities


Group 1 - Japanese room
Group 2 - British room
Group 3 - PC room and Apple room
Group 4 - STEM hands-on activities
Group 5 - 70s/80s room


Group 1 - British room
Group 2 - PC room and Apple room
Group 3 - STEM hands-on activities
Group 4 - 70s/80s room
Group 5 - Japanese room


Group 1 - PC room and Apple room
Group 2 - STEM hands-on activities
Group 3 - 70s/80s room
Group 4 - Japanese room
Group 5 - British room


Group 1 - STEM hands-on activities
Group 2 - 70s/80s room
Group 3 - Japanese room
Group 4 - British room
Group 5 - PC room and Apple room


Finish (time for toilet breaks etc)

4. Capacity and group sizes

We have a recommended group size of 5 to 7 pupils per group, with 5 groups in total. So up to 35 students, plus your teachers/TA staff etc.

Some of the rooms in the museum are bigger than others, and as we will have Horizons staff and students together with your pupils and staff, this is why we recommend no more than 7 students per individual group where possible.

5. Room by room - what there is to learn

See a table below explaining all the rooms in the museum, what is in them, and the educational aspect.

You can also see video tours of each room on the rooms page and a map on the layout page.

Room What’s in it Educational aspect
70s/80s room

Some of the oldest machines we have in the museum including machines like the BBC Micro & BBC Master (which were part of the BBC Education project in the 1980s), Amstrad machines, Commodore 64, Spectrum and others.

About 10 usable machines with a variety of educational software and games on.

A display with a history of computer media. Learn about how storage evolved from 8" floppy discs through to CDs, video, tapes and today's modern media.

Worksheets/cribsheets specifically for this room.

Our exhibits each have a write up next to them giving you the year the machine was made, the type of processor and memory it has, plus any significant historical information.

Japanese room

Japanese video games consoles from the early 1980s onwards including Nintendo, Sega and Sony. 10 usable machines.

9x A3 display boards in this room explaining the history of the exhibits, how Nintendo used clever marketing and adapted their products to rise above the Video game crash of 1983, and more.

Worksheets/cribsheets specifically for this room.

British gaming history

The UK has a really rich heritage of developing computer games! This room showcases a 20 year history of some of the most well known titles, which many never knew were developed in the UK!

There are 13 usable machines in this room.

Learn about how Britain is a pioneer in the computer gaming industry, and see how games evolved through the ages.

Worksheets/cribsheets specifically for this room.

PC room and Apple room

This is actually two rooms, but the Apple room is quite small so for the purpose of splitting pupils into groups we combine these rooms on their visit to the museum.

There are about 15 usable machines between both rooms.

In our PC room, see how Microsoft Windows evolved from the first version of Windows 1.0 in 1985, all the way through the ages to Windows 2.11, Windows 3.0, Windows 3.11, Windows 95 and Windows 98.

In our Apple room, see how apple developed from basic machines like the Apple IIe, through to machines such as the iMac and and PowerMac G4 which were some of the first machines to run OSX (MacOS) which is what modern Macs run today.

Worksheets/cribsheets specifically for this room.

STEM workshop room

In this multi-use area of the museum one of our experienced volunteers will provide an STEM workshop to your pupils.

See the STEM workshops section.

6. STEM workshops

On the top floor of our museum, one of our experienced volunteers will be providing your pupils with a STEM workshop.

We rotate which STEM workshops we are doing so that if you plan a return visit to the museum then you'll be able to do a different workshop for variety.

Current STEM workshops

  • The Human Super Computer - How each part of a computer is very similar to a human! In this workshop you'll learn about different components of a computer, and how they compare to a similar part of the human body, and most importantly why!

Future STEM workshops

  • Logic diagrams - What a logic diagram is, what they're used for, common symbols, and why they're relevant in computers today.
  • Simple electronics - Basics of simple electronics and how they formed the foundation of a modern day computer.
  • Robotics - Make robots move using a computer! Involving technology old and new to power robots using BBC computers, LEGO mindstorms and more.
  • Arduino projects - Using modern day arduino devices to create fun projects.

7. Pricing

Based on Thursday 9.30am to 12pm session, pricing is as follows:-

Up to 25 students, and 3 members of staff

Up to 35 students, and 5 members of staff

Parents are welcome to come too, but the number of parents is included in the numbers above. So if you would like to bring 25 students and 10 parents, then the group size would be 35.

8. Disabled access

The museum is situated on the 1st to 3rd floors of a very old shared use building which is accessed by stairs.

Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access.

9. Toilets

Unisex toilets are available. There are no disabled toilets on-site.

Our unisex toilets have two enclosed cubicles; one for male and one for female.

10. How to book

Please email with:-

  • Date you'd like to visit
  • Total group size (see pricing section for total group sizes we can accomodate
  • Date of booking
  • Name of your school
  • Any other requirements

Deposit required to secure booking

A non refundable £50 deposit is required to book the date. No bookings are made until this is received and we offer availability on "first come, first served" basis.

The deposit is deducted from the total amount payable (see pricing section).


Full payment is required no less than 14 days prior to your booking.

Payment should be made by bank transfer (BACS).

We will provide you with an invoice. There is no VAT to pay.

Account name: Derby Computer Museum
Sort code: 82 11 07
Account number: 80294508
Registered charity number: 1199054

11. FAQ

Q: How big is it?

A: We have about 1,600 sqft, spread over 2.5 floors and 6 themed rooms. We usually have around 55 hands on working exhibits, plus a variety of display pieces.

Q: I only want to bring a small handful of pupils (say 5 or 10), can you offer a cheaper rate?

A: Unfortunately not. Our main cost is electricity and when you visit we will make sure all the exhibits are turned on. We have approx 55 hands on exhibits so we have minimum charges in place to ensure we can cover our costs.

We are volunteer based and a registered charity, so we do not make any money.

Q: Can I bring a group larger than 35 pupils?

A: Yes but as the building has a limited capacity you would need to split these into sessions; eg 35 students in the morning, and 35 in the afternoon.

Q: Do you have catering or refreshment facilities?

A: No we do not. However we are in the middle of Derby City Centre which has a large selection of eateries.

Q: Are there toilets?

A: Yes we have toilets. They are unisex toilets with separate cubicles for male and female.

Q: Wheelchair access?

A: Unfortunately not. We’d love to have access to wheelchairs but unfortunately the building is about 150 years old and this had not been factored in when they built it. We do not own the building so do not have the scope to put such access in.

Q: Public liability insurance / first aid / risk assessments / etc

A: We have public liability insurance, and first aid kits in the building (as well as all the necessary fire safety signage, equipment, etc).

We can provide you with a risk assessment template to use, however the end responsibility would lie with yourselves.

Some of our volunteers are first aid trained, but not all of them, so if your educational establishment needs a first aider for visits to institutions then we recommend one of the staff you bring with you is first aid trained.

Q: Are your volunteers DBS checked?

A: Yes, all of our adult volunteers are DBS checked with a basic DBS check.

Q: How do I get there?

A: Please see our find us page.

Q: Coach and minibus parking?

A: For information about coach parking, please see the Visit Derby coach parking page.

For minibus parking, we would recommend using the Full Street outdoor car park which does not have any height restrictions.

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Supported and sponsored by...

GOLD SPONSORS and supporters...

Antiques Boutique
Michael Key MOT & Servicing Long Eaton
Horizons Sixth Form
Community Action Derby
Electronics Club
Sponsor us

Gold sponsors and supporters only shown. For our full list of sponsors and sponsorship information please click here.

© Derby Computer Museum. Registered charity number 1199054


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