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Prof Andrew Burn
Prof Andrew Burn profile picture
  • Professor of Media Education
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

Andrew Burn is Professor of English, Media and Drama, and director of the DARE centre (Digital | Arts | Research | Education), a research collaboration with the British Film Institute. Visit the DARE website  - www.darecollaborative.net - for information about events and projects, and links to people and partners. He is also director of MAGiCAL projects, an enterprise developing game-based software for education, in particular the game-authoring tool Missionmaker which features in several of his research projects.

Andrew has published work on many aspects of the media, including media literacy in schools, the semiotics of the moving image and computer games, and young people's production of digital animation, film and computer games. He has conducted a wide range of research project over many years, funded by, among others, the AHRC, the European Commission, the ESRC and the EPSRC. Visit his personal website for more information about projects, publications and interests: www.andrewburn.org.

He is interested in the study of popular culture, especially as it relates to play, the arts and education. Methodologically, he has adapted theories of multimodality to describe and analyse media texts, relating them to them to to the Cultural Studies research tradition. He has previously taught English, Drama and Media Studies in comprehensive schools for over twenty years. He has been a Head of English and an Assistant Principal at his last school, Parkside Community College in Cambridge, where his main role was to direct the school's media arts specialism: it was the first specialist Media Arts College in the country.


Professor Andrew Burn
Director, DARE (Digital Arts Research Education)
UCL Knowledge Lab


Academic Qualifications


  • Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, Institute of Education, University of London (Pleasures of the Spectatorium: young people's engagement with Horror Film)


  • Master of Arts, Institute of Education, University of London (Media and Cultural Studies)


  • Bachelor of Arts, St John's College Oxford

Professional Qualifications


  • Post graduate Certificate of Education (secondary), PGCE


Personal country knowledge

  • France


Languages spoken

  • French (intermediate)

Research Groups
Research Summary

Andrew's research projects have been in play, games, arts education, film education and media literacy. They have been funded by a variety of bodies, including the AHRC, the ESRC, the EPSRC and the European Commission.

They include:

Playing the Archive (2017-19), digitising the Opie Archive at the Bodleian, and building a virtual play world based on it at the Museum of Childhood. With the university of Sheffield and the Bartlett's CASA centre.

Playing Beowulf (2015), developing a game-authoring tool to make video games of Beowulf, with the British Library, UCL English and English in Education, and the university of Sydney.

Playing Shakespeare (2012), a similar project based on Macbeth, with The Globe.

Children's Games in the Age of New Media (2009-11), digitising the Opie sound Archive at the British Library and conducting ethnographies of play in Sheffield and London. With the university of Sheffield and the University of East London.

Teaching Summary

Andrew'steaching includes PhD supervision in topics ranging from game-making to Peircean semiotics; and lecturing on the MA Digital Media, Culture and Education. He has acted as programme leader for this course, and has designed modules in a range of subjects from moving image production to media literacy.

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