Real Estate InvestmentCity University London
Price on request
- Islington (England)
What you'll learn on the course
Skills and Training
- 2016 Entry
- 2017 Entry
- Course content
- Teaching staff
- Entry requirements
- Tuition fees and term dates
- Career opportunities
Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: £23,000 (Apply and accept an offer before April 1st 2016 to be eligible for discounted tuition fees of £20,000)
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 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 Real Estate and the MSc 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 degrees taught to the same level as Cass finance programmes. Compared to the MSc 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, 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 Investment, continue on this page.
For the pages dedicated to the MSc Real Estate, please click here
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 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: Christine Woolley
Apply now >Course content
Overall the MSc Real Estate Investment could be labelled as a degree in finance which is focussed on real estate. Since the topics and methods you study are of interest to all real estate businesses, including the mainstream employers like chartered surveyors, the MSc Real Estate Investment may give you a wider choice of the role you play but it does not pre-determine what sort of firm you work for.
Term 1 of the course gives you a grounding in the core skills of the real estate professional. You cover basic appraisal methods applied to valuation, development and financing of investments, plus a quantitative methods module incorporates econometric modelling. Those techniques are put in a wider context through a module on real estate economics and an investment markets module which ranges across all asset classes and financial instruments
Term 2 is more about applications of those core skills and principles. In Capital Markets you cover the different forms of indirect real estate – REITS, core and opportunistic funds, and derivatives. In Debt Markets you take in mortgage lending, mezzanine finance, mortgage-backed securities. And in term two you look in more detail at the financial instruments based on real estate – REITs, Mortgage Backed Securities, derivatives. Portfolio risk management deals with the role of real estate in investment portfolios and the mix of assets within real estate portfolios.
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. So you can focus on:
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:
- Core real estate topics like building management, sustainability, residential markets.
- 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, in 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 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 interviews.
In Term 2, you are allocated a supervisor from our teaching team who is 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.
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 Investment 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)Investment Markets
Students will comprehensively examine the broad investment markets. The module will place into context the role of real estate as an investment asset by examining alternative investment vehicles. The module will examine asset valuation and the principles of portfolio diversification across a wide variety of asset classes including; equities, fixed-income securities, derivatives and the foreign exchange markets.Quantitative Methods
This module introduces statistical and econometric techniques with a focus on applied real estate research. The module will 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.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 Investment & Financial Analysis
This module introduces students to the primary issues in the evaluation of real estate investments. The course considers the primary valuation techniques, the financial modelling of investment appraisal of properties and also provides an introduction into the importance of financing structure. Students will examine alternative sources of capital and the impact on investment appraisals and performance.Term 2
Four core modules (30 hours each)Portfolio Risk Management
This module covers key applied issues in relation to portfolio theory in particular the application of these models in practice. The module will also cover fund management issues such as regional, sector & economic diversification, portfolio construction and portfolio performance evaluation.Real Estate Capital Markets
This module will provide comprehensive coverage of the real estate capital markets. The module will not only provide details on the structure of these securities and markets but also examine how they can be used in the context of issues such as real estate portfolio construction and asset allocation, hedging and financing. The module will also highlight the different characteristics of many of these securities to those commonly traded in the investment markets. The course will primarily cover Real Estate Investment Trusts, Private Funds and Real Estate Derivatives.Real Estate Modelling and Market Dynamics
This is an applied econometric modelling course. It provides students with comprehensive coverage of the application of alternative modelling techniques. The module examines modelling issues across the range of real estate related assets and securities. In the context of the private real estate market the course illustrates the challenges in modelling markets due to factors such as data limitations. The module contains a mixture of theoretical constructs and the application of these in an applied econometric setting.Real Estate Debt Markets
This module enables students to develop an appreciation of the various techniques available in real estate finance. The course will cover different sources and structures of debt finance, Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities, interest rate hedging and interest rate derivatives.Term 3
Three electives and Business Research projectElectives
You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Electives that were offered in 2014 were:
- Hedge Funds
- Energy Project Investment & Finance
- Corporate Restructuring
- Introduction to Banking
- Project Finance
- An Introduction to Islamic Banking, Finance & Insurance
- Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Pension Finance
- Private Equity Investment
- Building Project Management & Procurement
- Project Management for Professional Practice
- Real Estate Fund Management
- Residential Investment
- Sustainability in Real Estate
- Visual Basics in Finance
- Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
Your Course Director will be Stephen Lee, Senior Lecturer in Real Estate Finance. Stephen has over twenty years teaching experience. He is an internationally recognised academic, who sits on the boards of the European Real Estate Society and the International Real Estate Society. He has published many papers which break new ground in the field, mostly looking at investment risks and returns, asset allocation and portfolio construction.
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, Modelling & Market Dynamics
Professor Sotiris Tsolacos. (ICMA Centre, Henley-Reading Business School). One of the UK’s leading analysts and forecasters of the real estate market. Sotiris ran forecasting services at JLL and Property Portfolio Research from 1999 to 2013, and is co-author of the standard textbook on real estate forecasting.Investment Markets
Professor David Blake (Cass). Head of The Pensions Institute and an investment expert who has written numerous journal articles and industry reports, including work on Real Estate in Defined Contribution Pension Schemes commissioned by the real estate industry. David has also authored a standard text on investment markets.Real Estate Investment and Financial Analysis, Portfolio Risk Management
Stephen Lee (Cass), your Course DirectorReal Estate Economics, Debt 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 as 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.Capital Markets
Alex Moss is a Visiting Professor at Cass, who has been involved in research and transactions in the global listed real estate sector for over 30 years. His career has encompassed sell side research (BZW and Macquarie), corporate broking (CSFB), private equity (Apax Partners Capital), and fund management (M&G). He is the founder of Consilia Capital, a real estate research and advisory firm, and is Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Investec Global Real Estate Securities Fund.Accreditations
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredits the course, enabling graduates to enter the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
The Investment Property Forum in the UK recognises the programme as a gateway to the real estate investment sector and as a clear entry route for membership...