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    Key information

    Mode of delivery
    Start date
    September, January


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    Our internationally recognised MSc Real Estate is designed to align your skills to the educational requirements of the industry's professional bodies. Global relevance and employability are at the core of our curriculum design. The degree will enable you to understand the operation of real estate markets and develop a deep understanding of the techniques applied in them. You will gain the key skills necessary to embark on a wide range of careers in the global real estate industry.

    This Masters degree is especially suitable if you have a non-real estate related degree and desire to develop skills and knowledge in the real estate sector. The MSc will lead to exciting employment opportunities across the industry.

    Degree duration

    Online Learning: The fastest this MSc can be completed is in 2½ years. The maximum completion timeframe is 8 years. On average, most students complete a MSc in 3-4 years.

    Delivery of online degrees

    Our up-to-date and progressive course materials are made available online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE links you with our expert academics and course materials through videos, webinars, articles, journals, assessments and discussion boards. Tutors will provide you, by phone, Skype or email, with academic support similar to that received by our on-campus students.

    To find out more about time requirements, support and exams, view our How online learning works pages to find out more.

    Industry links

    This degree benefits from the expertise of research-active and industry-minded staff. Along with teaching staff, several honorary professors from industry guest lecture and advise on student research projects.

    Course content

    Year 1

    For the MSc, students undertake eight taught courses and submit a Masters dissertation. Students on the PgDip course take eight taught courses. Each taught course represents 150 hours of student effort and the dissertation represents 600 hours.

    Degree structure

    • Business Analytics and Introduction to Big Data
    • Advanced Construction Technology
    • Real Estate Development
    • Real Estate Management and Sustainability
    • Urban Economy and Property Markets
    • Real Estate Investment Analysis
    • Real Estate Appraisal and Finance
    • Advanced Real Estate Valuation
    • Research Dissertation (Urban Studies)

    Detailed degree guide

    Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

    • A thorough understanding, application and evaluation of valuation, investment and appraisal techniques.
    • An appreciation and working knowledge of occupier, investment and development sectors of commercial and residential markets.
    • An awareness of legal and planning frameworks within UK in the context of the built environment.
    • Providing a basic knowledge of economics and the interplay with the real estate industry and professions.
    • A critical and in-depth understanding of the nature of property investment decisions, including complex current and future issues at the forefront of both academic research and professional practice.

    Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

    Critical appraisal, research and evaluation of economic, financial and property market trends

    Approaches to Teaching and Learning

    For HW Online students:

    The Programme is taught only on a distance learning basis. Students are provided with access to electronically available learning packs and lecture overheads and are expected to supplement these with wider reading including journal articles available electronically via the library. Learning packs include a series of self assessment questions for students to complete. Tutor support is provided electronically or by telephone.

    For all Students:

    Student-led learning: Outside class, the onus is on students to take initiative and responsibility for themselves. There is considerable emphasis on reading and working on assessments. This can involve individuals on their own but many courses include group projects and reports. For professional practice, the emphasis on the individual as well as the team is crucial. Students come on the programme from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds and cultures. The part-time students are normally working in property-related jobs and sharing experience is specifically encouraged, both formally and

    VISION, a Virtual Learning Environment: Vision will be a feature for both DL and on campus students for all Courses as from September 2008. The Programme will be increasingly supported by interactive VLE. Feedback from part-time students has been particularly supportive of this approach, which is used in conjunction with the on-campus learning and teaching experience – not as a substitute for it. The VLE provides an opportunity for students to access materials and information and communicate with Course leaders and other students, for example for group work, using news and
    discussion forums.

    Assessment Policies

    Given the focus on developing knowledge and skills relevant to professional practice, there are few exams in the Programme as a whole. Assessments include individual reports and essays, projects, Research Project 1 and Research Project 2, presentations and other oral presentations and field exercises. For example, Real Estate Asset Strategy is assessed by a group project requiring students to devise a portfolio solution to a series of corporate challenges. Research Projects 1 and 2 assesses higher-level research skills, critical thinking and writing capabilities. Group projects specifically develop team-working skills which are important in surveying practice.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status Per course [footnote 1] Dissertation/Project [footnote 1]
    UK / EU / Overseas GBP1480 GBP1910
    1. The tuition fees listed are for courses starting between September 2023 and August 2024. Fees normally increase annually. Find out more about our tuition fees.

    Additional fee information

    Tuition fee loans are available to Scottish distance learning students on some taught postgraduate courses. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Each year, hundreds of students enhance their educational experience through a variety of Heriot-Watt and externally funded scholarships, including opportunities funded by the University's generous alumni community, based all over the world.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    For MSc level entry applicants must have:

    • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area. Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

    For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

    • Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.
    • Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation.
    • Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

    There is no entry at PG Certificate level except through exceptional agreement with approved learning partners.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    We are committed to providing study opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For more information on RPL, please contact the Online Admissions Team ( ahead of application. We can only consider requests for RPL at the time of application to a course of study.

    English language requirements

    If English is not the applicant's first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

    Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree course. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

    We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

    Additional information

    Entry dates

    Online Learning students can choose to start their studies in January or September. The January intake is not available to students studying on-campus.


    We have students from all ages, cultures, backgrounds and walks of life but there are two distinct and common motivations: Some students come to advance their existing careers within the property and real estate industry, where they are already employed. Others are from different educational or professional backgrounds and wish to enter the industry using this qualification. This course offers students a structured path to become chartered. To read about what our students and graduates think about studying online visit our Meet our students pages.

    Whatever the motivation, with strong professional links and a focus on up-to-date industry-relevant content, our Real Estate degree equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to quickly and effectively contribute to wide and varied roles within the real estate industry.

    Graduates of this course are highly sought after in the real estate industry. Graduates from this area have gone on to work within some of the largest and most prestigious international real estate organisations and firms.

    Real Estate Service firms

    Avison Young, CBRE, Cluttons, Cushman & Wakefield, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, DTZ, EYCO, Gerald Eve, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Rydens and Savills

    Investment Banks

    Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan

    Institutional Investors and Investment Funds

    Aviva, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Legal & General

    Consultancy firms

    PWC and Deloitte Real Estate

    Investment and Development companies

    British Land, Cala Homes, Grosvenor and Land Securities

    We also have a proven track record in research, and a number of our graduates continue in research to complete PhD study.

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Ranking (Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design, The Times and Sunday Times Complete University Guide 2024)

    We are ranked 2nd in Scotland and 4th in UK for Town & Country Planning and Landscape by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

    Ranking (Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design, Complete University Guide 2023)

    We are ranked 2nd in Scotland and 15th in the UK for Town and Country Planning and Landscape Design in the Complete University Guide 2023.

    Flexibility and affordability

    Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Online events

    We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

    Lifelong connections

    Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

    Study options Edinburgh - Real Estate

    Our MSc in Real Estate is also available to study at our Edinburgh campus.

    Study options Dubai - Real Estate

    Our MSc in Real Estate is also available to study at our Dubai campus.

    We are accredited by the following organisations

    At Heriot-Watt University we develop degrees that are relevant for the world of work. We work with Professional bodies and Institutes to gain appropriate Accreditations and Professional Memberships for your industry. Find out below how this degree aligns to industry.

    RICS logo

    Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

    This graduate apprenticeship is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) meaning that apprentices are on a pathway to becoming Chartered construction professionals. Depending on the individual's career development, this is most likely to be through the Quantity Surveying and Construction pathway or the Project Management pathway.

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