Six student-friendly museum memberships that won’t break the bank

Being a student in London isn’t always easy and the anxiety of a dwindling bank account is always stressful. 

While websites like UNiDAYS and Student Beans provide students with tons of discounts on food, clothing and technology, discounts for attractions like museums and theatre remain nonexistent on the sites. Even the famous NUS card doesn’t include art entertainment deals. 

But they do exist! All it takes is a bit of research – don’t worry, we did the work for you. 

Tate Collective – Free

The Tate Collective is a cheaper alternative to the Tate Museum membership card. Students aged 16-25 can join for free and attend any Tate exhibition for £5. 

When booking online, a Tate Collective member can bring up to 3 friends aged 16-25 to each exhibition. 

16-25’s are also entitled to discounts, free events, creative opportunities, and receive 10% off at the museum’s stores and 20% off at the museum’s cafes.

V&A – £54 

The V&A membership for Under-26’s is the perfect pass for someone who loves ancient and contemporary art. 

With unlimited, free entry to all the exhibits at the museum, your weekends are basically sorted. Don’t want to go to the museum alone? For an extra £30, you can bring along a guest to the exhibits free of charge. 

You’ll be the first to see what the V&A has to offer with their members preview days and will always stay informed with the V&A Magazine subscription. 

Once you’ve strolled through the museum, you can elegantly dine in the members-only room.

British Museum – £45

The British Museum is your go-to stop for London’s most extensive collection of history, art and culture. 

The museum offers an Under-26’s membership starting at £45 (bringing guests will cost you extra). 

The membership gets you free access to all the museum’s exhibitions, entry to exclusive member’s lectures, special events and after-hours experiences, a subscription to the museum’s magazine, and a 10% discount at the museum’s gift shop, cafés and restaurant.

Design Museum – £45

The Design Museum has beautiful collections that satisfy everyone from astrology lovers to fashion fiends. 

Their student membership includes all the bells and whistles – free and priority access to all the exhibits in the museum, £5 tickets (exclusive offer for their 30th anniversary) to talks held by the museum, 25% off select courses and workshops, 10% off discount in the gift shop and 20% discount in café, and an e-newsletter that keeps you in the loop all-year round.

Royal Academy of the Arts – £60

While the RA membership is pricier compared to other memberships, it allows you to bring along a +1 to every exhibition or event for free. 

By becoming a Friend, card holders can cut the line and view their favourite exhibitions early with the Friends-only hours. 

Fancy seeing a highly anticipated event before anyone else? RA Friends are offered preview days for all major exhibitions held at the academy. 

Friends have special access to the hidden garden at Keeper’s House where they can snack on treats from the cafes. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Friends get 10% off at the RA shop in-store or online.

Student Art Pass – £5 

For 110 years, The Art Fund offers aid to museums and galleries, and they’re extending help out to students! 

With the Art Fund’s Student Art Pass, students are introduced to a ‘whole world of art’ for just £5.

The pass offers students free or discounted entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK. With this pass, students are also entitled to 50% off major exhibitions. 

Besides offering you a cheap weekend activity, the Student Art Pass also provides paid opportunities in the arts for it’s pass holders. 

By signing up for a Student Arts Pass, you’re automatically added to the #WeAreArtful #StudentArtPass community which brings together young artists and gives them a platform to share their work.





Words: Derrian Douglas

Photo: Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash


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