Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: £18,000 (full-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions

The MSc in Real Estate Investment is aimed at students wishing to enter or advance their careers in the fields of real estate investment management, real estate finance and the securitised real estate markets. As such, it deals extensively with the growth in the securitised real estate markets of Real Estate Investment Trusts and Mortgage Backed Securities. It also examines the real estate derivatives market.

The programme combines the rigour of a mainstream finance programme with the direct application of financial theory and techniques in a real estate context. To apply for this programme you should have a relevant undergraduate degree or work experience, along with strong quantitative skills.

Information Sessions

Individual Appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email: Jessica.Sprake.1@city.ac.uk

Course content

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 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

Term 1

Five 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 project


You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Electives that were offered in 2014 were:

  • Hedge Funds
  • Energy Project Investment & Finance
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Project Finance
  • An Introduction to Islamic Banking, Finance & Insurance
  • Credit Risk Management
  • Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
  • Pension Finance
  • Private Equity Investment
  • Project Management for Professional Practice
  • Real Estate Fund Management
  • Residential Investment
  • Sustainability in Real Estate

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Real Estate Investment have many years of practical experience working in the sector and are also active researchers in their fields

This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up the MSc in Real Estate Investment.

Course Director

Prof. Tony Key

Other Module Leaders include:


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 of the Forum for all candidates aged over 30 with five years appropriate experience.

MSc Research Project

The Project will be of approximately 8,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary real estate topic related to students' future careers. The Project should be based on independent research either in the context of a single organisation or using third-party sources.

Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their Project. A member of academic staff supervises the project, and the student may choose whom they would like to work with. The Project must be submitted by the end of August. Company sponsored projects are encouraged and a number of such projects may be available.

Many students use this opportunity to complete a project in conjunction with an organisation they might want to work for. This gets their foot in the door and can lead to permanent employment post programme, whilst earning course credit. Cass Careers Service works to coordinate projects with organisations and students.

Some recent projects:

  • The use of Financial Derivatives in the UK Property Market
  • Diversification in Equity REIT Portfolios
  • The Cyclical Nature of Foreign Investment in the City Office Market
  • Short Memory in Modelling and Forecasting Rents
  • Private Equity Real Estate & Opportunistic Funds
  • Price Discovery in the US & UK Property Market
  • An Analysis of REIT Mergers
  • The Price/Rent Relationship in the Residential Market
  • A Comparison of the Risk Premium on Equities and Property
  • The Impact of Residual Values in Debt Securitisation of Property Portfolios
  • Property Derivatives and Portfolio Risk Reduction
  • Real Estate Structured Finance as an Exit Strategy

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the MSc Real Estate Investment are as follows:

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Current module list if still studying
  • CV
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)

Documents which may follow at a later date

  • IELTS result, if report available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
  • Two references
  • Work experience is not a requirement of this course

Please note the GMAT is not required for this programme.

We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.    


Degree Level

  • A UK 2.1 or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution
  • Applicants for MSc Real Estate Investment will be required to have a broader background in quantitative techniques and finance

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Applicants will need to submit two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference.

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English Requirements

  • If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the test
  • If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.


The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing.

Read more

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Work Experience

Work experience is not a requirement, but please provide details of relevant experience that might enhance your profile. This information will be included in your CV which is required with all applications.

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2015/16

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fees: £18,000 Currency Converter

Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer)

First installment: Half fees less deposit (paid at registration)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of programme)

Term dates 2015/6

In-Person Registration (all students must attend): 14 - 18 September 2015

Induction: 14 - 25 September 2015

Term I
28 September 2015 - 4 December 2015
Term I exams
11 January 2016 - 22 January 2016

Term II
25 January 2016 - 8 April 2016
Term II exams
25 April 2016 - 6 May 2016

Term III
16 May 2016 - 24 June 2016
Term III exams
27 June 2016 - 8 July 2016

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2016

Official Course End Date
30 September 2016

Career opportunities

Graduates from the Cass Real Estate Investment Masters are highly sought after and you will be well placed to take up positions in many areas within real estate. These include investment, research, finance and portfolio management.

Major real estate advisory firms visit the Business School and present to our students. Many of the large investment houses, management consultants and other businesses based within the City make similar presentations to students across the School.

MSc in Real Estate Investment Employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of last year's MSc in Real Estate Investment cohort shows that 71% of graduates are now in work.*

Some examples of where graduates from the 2010/11 MSc in Real Estate Investment are working are:

  • Jones Lang LaSalle - Strategic Consulting - Global Performance Manager
  • IPD - Portfolio Analysis Services - Data Analyst
  • Standard Life Investment - Real Estate - Graduate Portfolio Manager
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland - Corporate Coverage Germany - Analyst
  • Savills PLC - Research - Analyst

*Based on 2012 survey respondents

Cass Careers Service

Student quote

'The knowledge I gained on the MSc in Real Estate Investment has allowed me to move into advising banks and investors on funding structures for development finance as I gained insights into the mechanics and risks of investment finance. Modules in finance and funding, real estate development and real estate investment provided a solid matrix of knowledge which allowed me to provide additional insights in my working environment and provided to my employer value added skills.'
Corry Bourke, MSc in Real Estate Investment.
Now working as an Associate Director for Davis Langdon LLP