MA (Hons) Real Estate Management and Finance

The course

Delivery type
4 years (full-time)
Intake date



Our BA/MA (Hons) Real Estate Management and Finance programme is not about preparing you to be an estate agent. Although estate agents are the most commonly known occupation, they represent only a small part of the real estate profession. 

Real estate is everywhere – it is your home, it is your school, it is your shopping centre, it is where you go on holiday, and it is even the places we want to preserve for future generations. Real estate includes the land and any buildings or improvements built on it – thus the built environment. 

Think about who uses real estate, who owns real estate and who invests in real estate. All stakeholders involved use the knowledge of real estate professionals. In fact, the largest owners and users of real estate are governments. 

The Forbes Magazine 2019 Global Ranking identified Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management as the largest public real estate company with assets worth $256 billion, followed by American Tower which owns cell towers. Weyerhaeuser Corp, a timber company, was number six.  All these organisations need skilled and knowledgeable professional real estate staff to make strategic and operational decisions, such as when to buy, when to sell, whether they are getting enough income or whether expenses are too high, and how to negotiate rents and determine values. Banks, lenders and equity investors also are major investors in real estate and need the skillsets of real estate professionals. 

Why study Real Estate Management and Finance at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus?

Heriot-Watt University, Dubai was the first and has the most respected real estate degree programme with the largest graduate network in the GCC. Our new undergraduate degree has been designed in response to employer demand and recognition that the property sector is now a central part of wider financial markets.

The sector locally in Dubai (UAE) is developing and very much conforming to global best practices. Recent additions to International Valuation Standards (IVS) and International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) are two examples where our students would benefit from studying a relevant programme. Furthermore, discussions with major firms also highlight the need for graduates to have a holistic range of business and finance skills alongside the technical knowledge relevant to property (for instance financial modelling). To this end, particular emphasis is placed on ensuring that students are familiar with the latest concepts in mixed-asset portfolio analysis, risk management, financial and valuation modelling.

Heriot-Watt property programmes have been ranked as one of the leading programmes in the UK. Heriot-Watt takes an applied focus, going beyond textbook and theory to explore real-world issues and solutions. Our programme combines real estate with business analytics, management, and finance; and graduates have sought-after transferable skills in writing, research and critical evaluation.  Our graduates will have career opportunities in business and property professions and are eligible for a broad range of postgraduate programmes across both disciplines. Students take part in a professional project that matches them with local practitioners and employers.


The course has accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Read more about the UAE Federal Accreditation.

Course content

This undergraduate programme is exclusive to Heriot Watt University in Dubai. The University has built up close links with international corporations and property firms in Dubai and therefore understands the needs of an ever-changing business world and property marketplace. This new programme managed under the University’s Urban Institute is a combined programme linking students with a keen interest in business and finance to the world of real estate management and finance. The programme places a high value on teaching both theory and application, and we expect you to graduate with an excellent understanding of the latest knowledge and ability to solve first hand current trends in the workplace.

The MA programme consists of eight taught courses per year (over 4 years). Each academic year has been designed to accommodate the relevant learning and teaching for a career in property and finance. A short description of each stage is shown below:

First Year: Fundamental of Business and the Urban Economy

Year 1 combines a number of relevant business and finance courses so that students are equipped with the relevant background of data analysis and analysis of financial markets. Core subjects include economics; management and business. Urban geography and the built environment components offer a linkage of the economy to property and construction markets. These courses provides an introduction to academic study, to the built environment professions, and to the nature of the work carried out by property surveyors.

Second Year: Theories of Finance and Urban Economy

Year 2 expands on the introductions in the first year allowing for more rudimental analysis and understanding of financial markets and management practices relevant to the business and property worlds. This year introduces property economics and the links between the economy and the property market, as well as giving you an overview of how cities are planned, managed and developed. Students will be able to use economic concepts and the financial theories to explain activities in the construction and property market. The presence of planning based courses will also allow students to look to the future and evaluate the importance of sustainable development and it considers how cities will evolve/future challenges.

Third Year: Appraisal, analysis and evaluation techniques

Year 3 is very much underpinned by the technical and analytical aspects of the property industry, be it real estate investment, development and asset management. Wider courses on financial markets allows students to appreciate the synergy between bond markets, currency markets and property markets. It will also present the opportunity to include practice based work in core areas of development appraisal and financial modelling. The courses introduces students to the development process and the commercial drivers behind it. It highlights how commercial, financial, economic, legal, planning, design and physical development considerations contribute towards real estate advisory and appraisal work. Students will develop detailed and critical understanding of principles, theories, techniques and practices relating to the appraisal and valuation of capital investments, with particular emphasis on real estate investments. Graduates on this course will gain the skills necessary to produce investment and market valuations, and undertake comprehensive appraisal, evaluation and interpretation of real estate investment performance, at single asset and portfolio levels.

Fourth Year: Management of risk and financial assets

Year 4 is designed to develop a wide range – and critical understanding – of the principles, theories, techniques and practices relating to: property and project finance, corporate finance, financial risk management, property taxation, and property finance negotiations. It brings in components of post-development decision-making regarding asset management and portfolio management. The programme concludes with a research dissertation that requires students to investigate a topic of choice in an extended project, building critical thinking; literature analysis; application of suitable research methods, analyse data, and produce conclusions and recommendations.

The programme allows a broad range of career choices for students, whether they want to develop a role in real estate management or real estate finance, based upon their own interests and career aspirations.


Common career paths include real estate investment analyst, valuation, corporate real estate, market research analyst, property development, property management, asset portfolio management, and property advisory services.

Typical employers include real estate advisory companies, corporations, investment funds, property developers, pension and sovereign funds, financial institutions, and governments.

Entry requirements

First year entry

  • GCE A-Level - CCD (or BBBB at AS-Level) 
  • CBSE/Other Indian Boards - 65%. 
  • American High School Diploma/SABIS - 70% + SAT I – 1000 (500 English and 500 Math)
  • Tawjihiyya - 80% or Elite/Advance - 75% + EmSAT (English 1400 and Math 700) 
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme - 24 points (3 HL and 3 SL). 
  • BTEC Level 3 Ext Diploma - MMM 
  • FBISE grade 12 or equivalent – 70% 
  • Russian/Kazakhstan (Attestat) - Grades of 5 in every subject + IELTS 6.0 
  • African WAEC/NECO/WASSCE - B2 
  • French Baccalaureate - 13/20 + IELTS 6.0 
  • Lebanese Baccalaureate - 80% or 13/20 + IELTS 6.0 
  • Foundation year Successful completion of Heriot-Watt University Degree Entry Programme (Engineering/Management) with a CCCC. 
  • Compulsory subjects to include English. 

Second year entry

  • GCE A-Levels - CCC. 
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme - 27 points (3 HL and 3 SL). 
  • CBSE/Other Indian Boards - 75% 
  • American High School Diploma/SABIS- 70% + 3 AP at grade 4 or Minimum 3 SAT Subjects (SAT II) 500 each, in relevant subjects. 
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) - PPP 
  • BTEC Level 3 Ext Diploma – DDD including Business  
  • FBISE grade 12 or equivalent - 85% 
  • Transfer students from other universities may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Compulsory subjects to include English. 

To find out about the entry requirements for this programme, please send an email to

English language requirements

As our degrees are taught and assessed in English, applicants must be able to prove their level of English language ability. To know more, please refer to our English language requirements.

Fees and funding

  • AED 63598 per year*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.