MSc Spatial Planning and Real Estate Development

The course

Delivery
Online learning
Course award
MSc
Location
Online
Entry date
September, January

Ranked 2nd in Scotland and 10th in the UK for Town and Country Planning and Landscape in The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Contact

Overview

Our MSc Spatial Planning and Real Estate Development course provides the foundation, knowledge and skills needed to work as a development surveyor or planner. On completion, graduates will be able to work either in the public or private sectors, advising on the complexities of property development to occupiers, investors, developers and planning authorities.

The course is designed to build understanding of the complex interactions and uncertainties of the development process. It provides students with the essential knowledge components of economics, valuation, planning, law, and regeneration and sustainability principles. It also develops an appreciation of the skills and tasks inherent in development projects, including community participation, satisfying the statutory planning considerations, undertaking the necessary financial appraisals, and achieving funding to make it happen.

Our graduates will be able to:

  • draw on a wide perspective to offer a holistic approach to sustainable development
  • demonstrate sophisticated intellectual and research skills proficient for a professional career
  • evaluate complex problems and formulate solutions associated with planning and development issues
  • have a respect for diversity and an appreciation of social inclusion as a goal of planning
  • have an awareness of the role that values and attitudes play in managing change in the built environment
  • have an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on the range of disciplines that contribute to the course 

Programme 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.

Flexible study options

The online Spatial Planning and Real Estate Development programme has been designed with flexibility in mind. It is ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. Some features that our students value include:

  • MSc degrees can be completed between 2½ - 8 years, depending on your pace of study.
  • You have up to two years to complete an individual course (or module) after registering for the course.
  • You can choose to sit exams in one of 450 exam centres around the world. Exam centres are present in most major cities.
  • Courses are paid for on a ‘pay-as-you-study’ basis, allowing you to spread the payments across the duration of your degree.

The MSc MSc Spatial Planning and Real Estate Development can also be studied on-campus on a full-time or part-time basis.

Delivery of online programmes

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. 

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS accreditation demonstrates a globally-recognised standard of real estate education.

Course content

This course is composed of eight core courses at PgDip level. For those looking to complete the course at MSc level a Masters dissertation is also required. Each taught course represents 150 hours of student effort and the dissertation represents 600 hours.

Course structure
Semester 1 Semester 2
Urban Economy and Property Markets Governance Participation and Community Planning
Spatial Planning Environmental Planning
Planning Theories Real Estate Development
Real Estate Appraisal and Finance Real Estate Investment Analysis

Urban Economy and Property Market

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This module aims to develop an understanding of the spatial dimensions of property markets, the interaction between the property market and the urban economy and the impact on local property markets on urban management policies.

Spatial Planning

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course aims to help students to develop a critical understanding of: spatial planning agendas; sectoral and spatial policy frameworks at national, strategic and local levels; legal and ethical frameworks; implementation mechanisms; development management issues; relationships between land and property and planning, including development rights and property rights. The syllabus includes the following subjects: 

Reasons for planning; Development Planning; Urbanisation and Urban development; Development and property rights; Development Management; Environmental Assessment; Conservation and Globalisation and urban transitions.

Planning Theories

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This module offers critical exploration of the key intellectual debates about planning theory and practice.

Real Estate Appraisal and Finance

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course aims to establish the economic context for the creation of value, introduce the principles for the assessment of value in property markets, develop a clear understanding of the valuation process and appropriately apply the principal valuation methods (conventional and contemporary) to a range of property types and interests. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

Economic context of the property market; The property professions: their role, ethical conduct and regulatory framework; Definitions of price, value and investment value (worth); Introduction to the principal techniques of property valuation; Valuation and appraisal mathematics: Present and Future Value, DCF, NPV and IRR; The valuation process; Analysis of market evidence and measurement practice.

Governance, Participation and Community Planning

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This module aims to develop critical knowledge and understanding of contemporary governance and community planning and the advantages of user participation in the development and delivery of services.

Environmental Planning

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This module provides students with an understanding of environmental management within planning systems both in the UK and internationally, within a context of climate change and improving the environmental and social sustainability of cities.

Real Estate Development

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This course aims to achieve an understanding of the structure and functioning of the contemporary real estate market and of the factors influencing the development decision. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

The real estate market and the property development industry; The factors influencing the development decision; The techniques of development appraisal including cashflow techniques and risk analysis; The nature of planning agreements and their impact on development appraisal; The general form and content of real estate development and investment finance; The form and content of real estate partnerships including appraisal and financing aspects.

Real Estate Investment Analysis

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This course aims to enable learners to develop an in-depth understanding of property as an investment medium and the application of investment and finance theories to both the general investment markets and the property market. The syllabus consists of the following topics:

Investment theory and the investment decision; the nature of risk and return; the characteristics of property as an investment; the role of property in the multi-asset portfolio; the application of modern portfolio theory; introduction to international real estate portfolio analysis performance monitoring; the emergence of new financial products in the property sector, and market efficiency and the cause of mis-pricing, real estate derivatives.

Career

The programme is suitable for students with an interest in pursuing a career either as a chartered development surveyor or as a planner with a specialism in land and property markets. Such opportunities are available in a range of employers in the private and public sector, including local development and regeneration agencies.

With strong professional links and a focus on up-to-date industry-relevant content, this course equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to quickly and effectively contribute to the success of their working environment.

On completion of this course graduates will be able to have a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the property market context and the nature and theory of spatial planning and sustainable development. Graduates can work in a variety of roles in the private and public sectors, both in the UK and abroad or continue research through completion of PhD study. 

Why Heriot-Watt Online?

Quality

Study towards the same high-quality qualification as if you were studying in-person, with no difference in degree certificate or transcript, including an Edinburgh campus graduation ceremony.

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.

Online community and help

Studying with us means you join an online community of over X students, allowing you to chat and learn from your fellow students through our virtual learning environment.

Employability and careers

Heriot-Watt produces more CEOs than any other University in Scotland, and 95% of graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.

Lifelong connections

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

Track record

We’ve been providing high quality online and distance learning across the world for over 25 years.

Reputation

Be part of a Business & STEM renowned University with over 200 years of heritage. We’re proud to be ranked #1 by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 for a number of our Engineering subjects, including Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Entry requirements

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 (egis-idl-apps@hw.ac.uk) 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:

  • 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.

Computing requirements

Please note that Online Learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Status Per course Dissertation
UK / EU / Overseas £1440 £1850

Additional fees information

Students pay £1440 per course and £1850 for the Dissertation. This programme consists of 8 courses (modules). MSc students are also required to submit a Masters dissertation.

For questions about Heriot-Watt Online fees, please contact hwonlineapps@hw.ac.uk

Financial support

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students can also access a £4,500 living cost loan. 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. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

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