Real Estate Development MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You should hold a degree (normally at least Second Class Honours) from a UK university or one of comparable standing, or membership of a recognised professional body whose entry requirements are equivalent to graduate level, and ideally some relevant practical experience. The course is well suited for those with a first degree in geography, economics, a traditional science, a property-related discipline or law. If your first degree and other qualifications are not so well aligned the course team may require further evidence of your ability to study the subject material as deemed appropriate. If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5.
The aim of the course is to provide you with a detailed understanding of the property development and appraisal process, encompassing the financial, physical, legal and social aspects. You will analyse development situations and respond to particular development problems with derived solutions. You will also be able to critically appraise options and independently evaluate alternative courses of action. The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
As part of the Development Finance and Funding module, students undertake a study trip to New York.
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.
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.
The work for this module involves the completion of a structured research programme resulting in a dissertation or major research project. 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 module aims 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.
Project Implementation Process
This module, based on problem-solving scenarios, enables you to develop a strategic approach to the implementation of complex real estate development projects. It provides you with an analytical review of the roles, responsibilities and methods for decision making of a multidisciplinary team, from client's identification of need, through project feasibility, design and construction, to operation and maintenance of a built facility. You will examine the differing objectives of generic procurement types, the identification and critical analysis of planning and development issues, and the impact of legal and regulatory frameworks to environmental and occupational health conditions, contractual matters and dispute avoidance.
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.
Space Strategies and Legislation
The aim of this module is to develop your cultural and analytical understanding of how buildings and the space configuration within them support the strategic objectives of the organisation. In this module you will address sustainability, corporate social responsibility and the underpinning legislation. You will also review the principles and application of the legislation affecting the workplace. You will explore the concepts of strategic business space usage, and gain a critical understanding of the use and management of space resources in the role of informed client. You will also develop your ability to analyse and adopt an informed tactical methodology toward solutions for space planning and utilisation, and be able to apply a range of decision-making tools for strategic space planning and management.
Choose one from the following:
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.
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 the module you will look at the history of the involvement of lenders, the risk assessment and procedures involved in lending on property. The study of traditional banking will be supplemented with investment banking techniques.
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
- Michael Lister, Senior Lecturer, Department of Property and Construction
This course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The RICS accreditation will enable you to take the Professional Assessment of Competence after a period of suitable employment. There are employment opportunities in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Some part-time students are employed by surveying firms to receive accredited training while working.
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.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.
Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.
We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.
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.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Professionally accredited course
The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Central London location and contacts
Our central London location provides direct access to professional institutions and practice. The course is informed by current industry priorities.
In this professionally-focused course the emphasis is on real-life situations and practical examples.
Diverse teaching methods include 'enquiry-based learning' where you engage with and problem solve complex open-ended scenarios, preparing you for such situations in your career.
Join a diverse and vibrant student community, with one of the UK's largest international student populations.
The course involves a study trip to New York for those taking the module Development Finance and Funding.
Our staff's research and consultancy informs their teaching so you will benefit from the latest developments in the field. 20% of our research in Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as 'World Leading and a further 45% as 'Internationally Excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Staff also consult for government, private sector and charitable organisations.
Study at the newly refurbished Marylebone Campus, where a £20million development has provided world-class facilities.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Real Estate Development MSc
“The best thing about the course is expanding my knowledge of the real estate market. The teachers have a very good background of this market. There is a Career Development Centre at Westminster, which is very helpful for students. There are many job fairs and companies like BNP and CUSHMAN attend. Students can talk to staff from those companies and get some really helpful information about the job market. The University of Westminster is always ready to help students.”
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.