Aerial shot of Wellcome Sanger Institute

Plan your school visit

We aim to offer an inspiring and inclusive experience for all schools and groups visiting the Wellcome Sanger Institute, on the Wellcome Genome Campus.  We offer year-round opportunities to visit and explore the Campus and discuss the latest topics in genomics.

Our trips are available for Years 5 and 6, and Years 10-13 (and equivalent), for UK state schools, sixth forms and colleges. Visits are available on Tuesdays, during term time; and the standard timings are 10.15am arrival for a 10.30am – 1.30pm visit.


Primary Visits

Our primary visits are recommended for Year 5 and Year 6 (and equivalent) groups.

A typical visit includes:

  • An introduction to the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Wellcome Genome Campus
  • Classroom-based workshop: a talk and activity linked to topics studied on Campus
  • A visit to the Open Lab and opportunity to see the one of the world’s largest DNA sequencing facility
  • ‘My Career in Science’ – students get to meet Campus staff from diverse roles, and complete their own scientist profile

Activities available:

An Introduction to DNA (KS2)
What is DNA? How do we study it, what can we learn from it? Students make DNA bracelets of varying organisms.

Living things and the Tree of Life (KS2)
What is DNA and how does it help us learn about different living things? Students decode mystery DNA sequences and learn about DNA in different living things

Marvellous Microbes (KS2)
What are microbes, and do they have DNA? Why are some microbes good for us when others make us ill? Students make model microbes


Secondary Visits

Our secondary visits are recommended for Year 10 – Year 13 (and equivalent) groups.

A typical visit includes:

  • An introduction to DNA, gene and genomes and research on campus
  • Presentation from a member(s) of campus staff about a genomics topic, research project, or career area
  • Classroom-based activity
  • A visit to the Open Lab and opportunity to see the one of the world’s largest DNA sequencing facilities

Activities available:

Function Finders / Function Finders BLAST (KS4-5)
Students translate DNA sequences into protein sequences, and look up the name and function of the protein using printed protein profiles (Function Finders), or using the UNIPROT database (Function Finders BLAST – subject to group size).

Genome Generation (KS4-5)
Students discuss a scenario around the impact of Genome Sequencing and its potential societal consequences.

BRAF: from Gene to Cancer Therapy (KS5)
From gene to cancer therapy –  Students interpret real cancer DNA datasets to identify sites of mutation in the BRAF gene and identify the significance of the BRAF V600E mutation in malignant melanoma.

We are always happy to tailor the visits to meet the needs of your group, please contact us to discuss this.

Requesting a visit to the Wellcome Genome Campus

To request a visit, please fill out our booking request form, and a member of the team will get back to you with more details.

The Science Engagement and Enrichment team strives to place inclusion, equity and social justice at the centre of our work.

We therefore prioritise our support for schools in areas of high deprivation, with a high proportion of students in receipt of pupil premium, and in areas of low social mobility. Due to the high number of requests for school visits to Campus, we will review each request on a case-by-case basis, with priority being given to those schools in underserved communities.

We are therefore unable to offer onsite visits for independent schools, non-UK schools including international visit programmes, and universities. These groups are however invited to take part in our online programmes.

Any decisions on visits by groups outside of the eligibility criteria will be made at the discretion of the team and will be dependent on our capacity.

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