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The course

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

Contact

Overview

Our MSc Real Estate Investment and Finance is designed to give you a broad knowledge and understanding of property within national and international investment markets and with the skills needed to research, analyse and advise on investment decisions accordingly.

It provides those from varied professional and academic backgrounds with an entry into the real estate profession while also enhancing the knowledge and skills of those already employed in the field. Including complementary courses in other aspects of economics and the built environment, this course gives students an intensive, diverse and well-rounded education.

Our students

Students come from the real estate industry, or look to study this course following a first degree in real estate, property development, planning, geography, economics or finance. This course offers you the opportunity to learn more about the intersection between property and finance, to develop appraisal skills and to become chartered.

Flexible study options

This course can be studied via Online Learning, ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. It can also be studied on-campus on a full-time or part-time basis.

Programme duration

Online Learning: 3-7 years

Accreditation

The course has accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and also recognised by the Investment Property Forum.

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Detailed course information

Course content

Detailed course guide

This course is composed of eight core courses at PGDip level. For those looking to complete the course at MSc level, a research dissertation is also required. Students are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination.

Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Urban Economy and Property Market
  • Real Estate Appraisal and Valuation 1
  • Macroeconomics, Finance and Built Environment
  • Spatial Planning
  • Real Estate Investment Analysis
  • Real Estate Management and Sustainability
  • Real Estate Appraisal and Valuation 2
  • Real Estate Development

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.

Real Estate Appraisal and Valuation 1

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.

Macroeconomics, Finance and the Built Environment

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course aims to give students an understanding of the macroeconomy and advanced financial issues that are relevant to the real estate and construction
sectors. The main topics covered by the course include:

Relevant macroeconomic theory and its practical application; Analysis of the complex relationships between the economy and the real estate market and the development industry; Advanced analysis of financial market structures and partnerships; Property market cycles including long waves of urban development; Financing of infrastructure projects including private finance, initiative, public-private partnership models including tax incentives.

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.

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.

Real Estate Management and Sustainability

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This course aims to give students an understanding of: the legal framework for property management and ownership; the roles and functions of the property asset manager; the financial, legal and technical skills within the management domain; concepts and tools for sustainability management within real estate. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

Law of contract, delict, land ownership; Strategy Management introduction and the role of management within surveying; Financial management/Sinking funds/service charges; Lease management; Marketing and negotiation; Physical property management; Concepts of obsolescence; Buy/lease/outsource decision-making and financial analysis; Real Estate management models; Scenario planning; International comparison of real estate strategies; Sustainable development, buildings and corporate social responsibility.

Real Estate Appraisal and Valuation 2

Semester 2 (mandatory)

This course aims to develop a critical evaluation of valuation and appraisal methods and provide an opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of advanced methods of valuation and appraisal for land and property markets. The course is intended to discuss and explore the following issues:

Investment appraisal: An examination of current issues in investment appraisal; Spreadsheets; Mass appraisal: application of statistical techniques for property appraisal; Business appraisal; Professional valuation and appraisal software.

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.

Career

With strong professional links and a focus on up-to-date industry-relevant content, our Real Estate courses equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to quickly and effectively contribute to the success of their working environment.

Graduates of this course are highly sought after in the real estate industry, and some of our graduates have gone on to work within companies such as Standard Life and Scottish Widows, and for major consultancies Jones Lang LaSalle, CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield.

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

Industry links

This course benefits from the expertise of research-active and industry-minded staff. Along with teaching staff, a number of honorary professors from industry guest lecture on the course and advise on student research projects. These include Douglas Smith, Chair of CBRE Scotland, David Hunter of Hunter Advisers and Edward Trevillion of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

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. For PG conversion courses, non-cognate degrees will be considered. 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.

Non-graduating study at masters level:

  • Entry is based on CV or on formal academic qualifications or graduate (or incorporated) membership of a relevant professional institution.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Heriot-Watt University is committed to providing opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Prior learning at postgraduate level is normally recognised to gain exemption from individual courses within a course based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the courses for which RPL is sought, yet credits from an award already held by an applicant can only contribute to a higher award in the same discipline, e.g. from PG Diploma to MSc. If you believe that you qualify for RPL, please contact the Learning & Teaching Support Team via egis-enquiries@hw.ac.uk, who will guide you through the RPL application procedure.

The school will only consider students' requests for RPL at the time of application for their 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

Online Learning 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.

Online Learning 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 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Online / distance learning**
Scotland / Non-UK EU £1350/1740**
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £1350/1740**
Overseas £1350/1740**

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

Additional fees information

**Students pay £1350 per course and £1740 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 our Student Support Team: egis-idl-enquiries@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.