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Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions
Applications: Now open
A Cass Masters degree is your gateway to a career in real estate - not the largest but we would say the most diverse, fascinating and dynamic of all asset classes. We are leaders in Real Estate Masters post-graduate programmes because:
- Track record: more than twenty years ago, we were the first UK university to provide RICS accredited Masters degrees, and over ten years ago the first to run real estate courses in a globally ranked Business School. So our degrees are widely recognised and highly valued by major employers, and you will find Cass Real Estate graduates at all levels in leading real estate firms around the world.
- Capability: you will be taught by our well-known, highly qualified real estate staff, all of them with at least 10 years’ experience in either university teaching and research or in senior roles in the industry – a lot of them with both. Plus, we can draw on London’s unmatched pool of industry professionals to act as visiting lecturers and guest speakers.
- Focus: In real estate Cass runs only Masters degrees – so you have the exclusive attention of our staff - and has specialised in courses which focus on the professional, financial and practical skills in high demand across the rapidly globalising real estate industry.
- Location: Cass’s state of the art teaching facilities sit at the heart of London’s global real estate hub, neighbouring both the City’s historic financial core and a dynamic new tech belt centred on the Silicon Roundabout.
So from Cass Real Estate you will get courses which:
- Equip you with the core skills required by the industry embracing valuation, financial analysis, development appraisal, market analysis and cash flow modelling.
- Are set in a framework of robust quantitative methods, financial and economic theory.
- With an emphasis on up to date industry techniques and practical tools taught hands-on in computer labs.
We offer a choice of two courses: the MSc in Real Estate and the MSc in Real Estate Investment.
The MSc in Real Estate equips you for roles across the full spectrum of the real estate industry, and is open to those with previous degrees in any discipline. The absence of “investment” from the label does not mean you won’t be covering the financial and appraisal skills needed to work in fund management, banking or other areas of the investment industry.
This degree offers a choice of pathways, which you don’t have to choose between until your second term. If you are targeting the graduate-entry programmes of the London chartered surveying firms, one pathway gives you more UK-specific skills in law and taxation. If you are targeting jobs in investment, finance, development or expect to work outside the UK, the other pathway tilts toward more analytical skills and international markets.
The MSc in Real Estate Investment requires a previous degree with a substantial quantitative element – which could be in social sciences like economics, geography or business so long as they have a good measure of statistics, econometrics, or in the sciences or engineering. Graduates from this course mostly enter the same businesses as those from the MSc Real Estate – indeed some go on to graduate entry programmes of the chartered surveyors – but will be qualified for more analytical roles within those businesses.
This degree is taught to the same level as Cass finance programmes. Compared to the MSc in Real Estate, modules in this degree provide more on other asset classes, econometric modelling and coverage of the financial markets based on real estate such as REITs and CMBS.
If you are not sure which of our degrees you are qualified for or is best for you, you can put both on your application form and we will suggest which is more suitable. Even then the decision is not final: you can switch between the two degrees in the first couple of weeks of the year after you have seen how they run.
To read more about the MSc Real Estate, continue on this page.
For the pages dedicated to the MSc Real Estate Investment, please click here
Both the careers service and course office work proactively from day one. They organise events and fairs to ensure that every student gets maximum exposure to job opportunities. Recruitment experts are also on hand to talk to us about how to prepare for interviews. Jones Lang LaSalle gave a presentation on campus at Cass and I ended up applying for, and getting, a job with one of their companies.
Kieran O'Flynn, MSc in Real Estate
Probably the most diverse, interesting set of people you have ever come across.
- Past students have said what a thrill it was to see such a diversity of nationalities, and to mix through the year with high-ability people studying real estate or one of the 20+ other Masters degrees taught at Cass.
- Around half our real estate students originate from the UK (we have the highest proportion of UK students of all Cass Masters programmes): the rest will come from around 30 different countries, half of them from Europe, half of them the rest of the world.
You will be learning with students who have undergraduate degrees through the spectrum from sciences or engineering through social sciences like geography and economics to English literature and history of art. Aside from the entry requirement for a quantitative background on the MSc in Real Estate Investment, we have had highly successful students from all possible backgrounds.
And you will find a good proportion – around a third – of your fellow students have come from previous jobs, many of them with household-name employers in the financial and real estate industries. Across all our students, the average is 3 years of full-time work. Those from a real estate background generally come to Cass for a career upgrade. Many come from neighbouring careers – architecture, construction, law – to a make a switch into real estate.
Our students run a highly successful Real Estate Club, which organises evening events through the year and an Annual Conference featuring industry leaders as speakers and panellists.
And we run a mentoring scheme which puts you in touch with a Cass real estate graduate from previous years to help introduce you to the world of work.
Real estate is an industry noted for being more sociable and convivial than the rest of the financial sector. So to get in practice, we hope that you will find the people you are studying with will be lots of fun.Individual Appointments
If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email: Stuart.Wallace@city.ac.uk
Apply now >Course content
The MSc in Real Estate opens up roles across the full range of our very diverse industry including surveyors, fund managers and banking for students with any previous degree.
In our first term, you get get the portfolio of core skills that equip you to achieve that goal – taking in quantitative methods, investment appraisal, asset management and real estate economics.
In the second term, core module choices provide two learning “pathways”.
If you aim to join the graduate entry programme of the major UK real estate employers and take the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence you can pick modules that tilt toward UK-specific topics in law, tax and applied valuation. If you aim to work in fund management, finance or outside the UK, you can tilt toward advance financial modelling and international markets. Either way, your choice will not pre-determine the jobs available to you. For all employers, a Masters from Cass is the most important thing, the mix of topics you have studied much less important.
In term three, you pick a set of three elective topics from around six modules specific to real estate plus a range run by other Cass Masters programmes – some of them taught on trips to locations outside the UK. So you can focus on:
- Added core real estate topics like building management, sustainability, residential markets.
- Or on the investment aspects of the industry like REITs, real estate funds and portfolio construction.
- Or pick up on more general topics such as private equity and project management taught by experts from other Cass programmes.
And the last block of your course, the Business Research Project (BRP), is the one you design and build for yourself. It takes the form of a report of around 8,000 words submitted in August. We see the BRP as your opportunity to have a showpiece which shows potential employers what you know, what you can do, your ability to produce good-quality individual work.
BRPs come in the full range of forms. To give a few examples:
- Some are mostly about technical methods (a forecasting model for London offices, REITs and asset allocation in the USA.)
- Others review trends and prospect in specific real estate markets (like housing in Hong Kong, investment in Africa)
- Or look at topical questions (like the impact of e-tailing on real estate, sustainability and building values)
- Or look in-depth at specific development projects (Kings Cross in London, a resort in Montenegro).
And the methods you can use run all the way from advanced econometrics through cash flow modelling to interview surveys. Some BRP reports look like articles in academic journals; others look like a research report produced by an industry professional; some like a development appraisal or a business plan.
We start to look at your choice of topic, information sources and research methods in Term 1. We often advise students to select a research topic focussed on the area of the industry they aim to work in: it gives you something to talk about at those crucial second and third round job interviews.
In Term 2, you are allocated a supervisor from our teaching team who is an expert in you chosen field, to help you refine your topic and advise on your research methods. In Term 3, and through the summer, you complete your research and write-up. Or of course you can do that earlier, and get a summer off.
We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice. Therefore, there may be some change to the detailed content of the modules and occasionally to module titles.
To satisfy the requirements of the degree programme students must complete:
- Eight core courses
- Three electives
- Business Research Project
Two Induction Weeks The MSc Real Estate starts with two compulsory induction weeks, focused on:
- an introduction to careers in real estate and the opportunity to speak to representatives from over 75 companies during a number of different industry specific fairs.
- a refresher course of basic financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases
Four core modules (30 hours each)Real Estate Investment & Market Analysis
The module covers a core set of skills for the analysis of real estate investments essential to an understanding of market behaviour plus the practices of valuation and investment development appraisal in the industry.Real Estate Economics
This module introduces students to the principles of economics, and the primary ways in which those principles are useful in the analysis of real estate performance and real estate markets. Particular attention will be paid to the impacts of changes in the economy on rental values, development activity, real estate returns and its returns relative to other assets.Real Estate Asset Management
This module provides comprehensive coverage of the management of real estate as an asset. While the module will examine many aspects of asset management from a portfolio perspective it will also examine other issues. The module will look at the asset management of properties and how investors can add value. It will also examine real estate's role from the perspective of a corporate occupier.Quantitative Techniques in Investment
This module introduces investment mathematics and statistical techniques. The module seeks to introduce techniques and concepts within the context of investment and portfolio research. The techniques learnt in this module will be applied and expanded on in other modules.Term 2 Property Valuation
This module will provide students with an overview of current valuation techniques commonly used and the legal background to both the valuation process and to the real estate markets generally. Classes discuss current UK and international valuation methodologies, examining both the similarities and differences in approaches. The module also covers legal issues in the valuation process.
Plus any three of the following modules:*Real Estate Finance
This module enables students to develop an appreciation of the various techniques available in commercial real estate finance, to identify the different sources, both of debt and equity finance and to examine how risk and reward can be shared.International Real Estate
This course is concerned with the considerations real estate investors and developers need to examine when looking at investing in international markets. The module covers the differing risk factors involved in global investment, such as market maturity, transparency, country risk and political risk. The module will also consider differences in valuation methods and market structure.Landlord and Tenant Law
Provides a sound knowledge of legislation and case law affecting the commercial property market in order to enable students to apply the legislation when undertaking valuations and appraisals of such premises.Real Estate Development & Planning
The aim of this module is to examine the various techniques used to analyse real estate developments. Students will examine real estate through the development and redevelopment process, the principals of development market analysis and appraisal, the importance of financing on the development process and the legal structures in place due to planning/zoning legislation.Applied Valuation & Taxation
Examines the statutory aspects of appraisal. Rating law and procedures, and taxation, particularly capital gains and value added tax, are also studied in depth.
*Modules must have a minimum of 15 students to run.Term 3
Three electives and a Business Research ProjectElectives
You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Electives that were offered in 2015 were:
- Hedge Funds
- Energy Project Investment & Finance
- Corporate Restructuring
- Introduction to Banking
- Project Finance
- An Introduction to Islamic Banking, Finance and Insurance
- Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Pension Finance
- Private Equity Investment
- Building Project Management and Procurement
- Project Management for Professional Practice
- Real Estate Fund Management
- Real Estate Portfolio and Fund Management
- Residential Investment
- Sustainability in Real Estate
- Visual Basics in Finance
- Project Finance & Infrastructure Investment (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
Your Course Director will be Dr. Mark Andrew, Senior Lecturer in Real Estate Finance. Mark has over 15 years teaching experience, at Cass since 2007. He is a highly skilled quantitative analyst who has published over 20 papers and a number of government commissioned reports on his research speciality in residential markets.
Across all modules, our current teaching staff are all highly experience senior academics or industry professionals who are recognised experts in their field – you will not be getting lectures from PhD students or recent graduates.Quantitative Methods
Mark Andrew, your Course DirectorReal Estate Economics, Real Estate Investment and Market Analysis, International Markets
Professor Tony Key (Cass), Head of Real Estate at Cass for the last thirteen years. Before that Tony had twenty years’ experience in real estate research as Partner at Property Market Analysis and Director at Investment Property Databank. His contribution to property research has been recognised by the awards of a Lifetime Fellowship of the Society of Property Researchers, and an Eminent Fellow of the RICS.Real Estate Development, Real Estate Finance
Bill Rodney (Cass). At Cass since 1990, Bill is one of the most experienced teachers of appraisal in the country, with a particular specialism in the use of spreadsheet models. Outside Cass, Bill has his own business that runs Executive Education and professional skills courses for surveying and investment businesses all over the world – which gives him a unique insight into the techniques they use and skills they need.Property Valuation
Professor Sarah Sayce (Kingston University, Royal Agricultural College.) Previously Head of the School of Surveying and Planning at Kingston University, Sarah is a widely published author – over 30 papers and reports plus a valuation textbook - with interests in valuation, sustainability and land management. She is an elected member of the Governing Council of the RICS, and has been an RICS APC assessor for 20 years.Accreditations
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredits the course, enabling graduates to enter the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).Entry requirements
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
- IELTS results, if report...