Property Finance MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You will normally be expected to hold at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (which need not be in a cognate subject) and should ideally (although not essentially) be in relevant employment in a professional or managerial capacity in a property or construction related organisation. Alternatively, applicants may hold membership of a recognised property or construction-related professional body achieved through examinations and/or professional interview, ideally together with experience in a professional or managerial capacity in a property or construction-related post.
Consideration will be given to mature applicants who lack standard qualifications but have significant professional or managerial experience in a property or construction-related post. Such applicants will be interviewed prior to admission and will be expected to demonstrate the commitment and intellectual capacity to study at postgraduate level.
You will need to be able to speak, write and comprehend English fluently. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component.
Property Finance is a well-established area of essential expertise within the real estate industry for the purchase and development of properties which may have varying levels of complexity. The finance specialist utilises modern skills, techniques and systems to successfully source and provide an adequate flow of accessible funds to buy, sell and develop land and buildings.
This course is intended to give you a detailed understanding of property finance and the associated property appraisal techniques and processes, encompassing both legal and social aspects. You will analyse investment and development finance situations and respond to particular financial problems with derived solutions. You will also be able to appraise options and independently evaluate alternative courses of action.
The design of the course recognises the significant challenges of providing an educational experience that is practical, relevant and challenging and meets the requirements of the relevant professional bodies. The programme, while still providing the discipline and structure of regular attendance at the University, aims to give a practical educational structure through workshops and projects.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
You will take modules totalling 180 credits as follows:
The work for this module comprises the completion of your dissertation or major research project, and incorporates a guided reflective exercise on personal and professional development. You can opt for a traditional academic dissertation which identifies a hypothesis and research questions, involves some original research, draws conclusions and, if appropriate, makes recommendations. Alternatively you can complete a defined project involving the preparation of a strategy or action plan for an issue relevant to your studies, and include a 20,000-word reflection on, and evaluation of, the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and the constraints which are likely to impact on the proposals.
FINANCE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT
The aim of this module is to set corporate decision making in the context of the business environment, corporate goals and the practice of company finance, estate and portfolio management. You will gain a grounding in property as an asset class, and a practical and theoretical appreciation of the techniques and practices currently being used in the management and valuation of commercial property. In the financial element of this module, you will explore issues relating to accounting principles and financial management accounts, and the implications of tax. Equally important is an appreciation of ratio analysis and strategy.
LAW FOR PROPERTY PROFESSIONALS
This module fosters reflection on where the law comes from and how it develops (including the influence of European Law), and encourages your understanding of the relationship between the legal process and social change. You will develop mastery of the key principles (and their operation in practice) of English Law relating to business, including contract, tort, real estate law and regulatory regimes which particularly affect the property industry.
You will also gain a greater understanding of legal theory, including statute and judicial precedent; the role of Europe; tort, contract and business law; administrative law and regulatory regimes; real estate law; and landlord and tenant law.
PROPERTY FINANCE: LENDING AND RISK STRATEGIES
In this module you will address the strategic role of lending in the property sector. The sector has become dependent upon lenders for the vast majority of cash inflows, and in this module you will look at the history of the involvement of lenders, and the risk assessment and procedures involved in lending on property. The study of traditional banking will be supplemented with investment banking techniques.
PROPERTY AND FINANCE: POLICY AND PRACTICE
Property is a major contributor to asset holding and investment in most economies. You will examine the bigger picture around property and money. You will look at differing sources of funds for investment and development of property, both residential and commercial, and investigate the thought processes used to make decisions on whether to proceed with a particular deal. You will also examine bank and fund strategy at the highest level.
SITE ASSEMBLY AND DEVELOPMENT
In this module you will focus on the financial, physical, legal and social aspects necessary for successful real estate development projects to take place. The emphasis is on the needs of end users of developments, and those other key players in the development process. There will be an emphasis on commercial real estate development, but the module will also serve well those requiring an understanding of mixed use and residential development projects and processes. The legal focus will centre on the system in England and Wales although techniques and examples will be drawn from a range of jurisdictions.
Choose one from the following:
DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AND FUNDING
This module gives you the opportunity to study and analyse the finance and funding of property development and investment transactions. You will explore the concepts and law surrounding the valuation and feasibility of developing land and buildings to an advanced level. This module includes a study trip to New York.
LANDLORD AND TENANT
This module covers the concepts and law surrounding commercial lease practice and rent reviews/lease negotiation, from both a landlord's and tenant's perspective. You will develop an understanding of, and familiarity with, the legal background to the landlord and tenant relationship, and its application in practice. This will include the study of statutory security of tenure, rent review, and other usual lease clauses including 'break' clauses, repair, user, alterations and alienation. You will also consider and discuss points of practical difficulty and complexity involved in negotiating lease terms and their subsequent implementation.
VALUATION AND LAW
This module centres upon methods of valuation applicable to properties for rating, and compulsory purchase purposes together with leasehold enfranchisement and properties subject to the housing acts.
The teaching team includes:
- Andrew Youens, Course Leader
- Haris Middleton, Senior Lecturer, Department of Property and Construction
This course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The course has been designed to be professionally relevant and to produce Masters graduates who are well-rounded and adaptable, with the ability to communicate with people at all levels, and are critical thinkers with inquiring, innovative minds and good research skills.
Successful completion of the course should enhance your career prospects and help you to achieve professional and senior positions in property finance and real estate.
Accreditation of the course by the RICS will enable you to pursue full professional membership of this body. The attributes detailed above will also provide evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and continuing professional development. Those wishing to continue their academic studies will have an excellent grounding for Doctoral level research, or a career in academia.
Length of course
One year full-time; two years part-time
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Property and Construction - why Westminster?
Architecture and the Built Environment
We are one of the country's leading centres for the study of Architecture and the Built Environment, covering the core subject areas that address the future shape of our cities.
Research in property and construction covers a wide range of activities. While we are interested in every aspect of research in property and construction, there are particular areas we specialise in.