Who is it for?
A Cass master's degree is your gateway to a real estate career. You may be a recent graduate with any previous degree, have a job in finance or real estate but wish to upgrade your skills and/or knowledge of real estate, or are intending a career switch from another industry.
Four key features make us market leaders in Real Estate masters programmes:
- Track record: Established 20 years ago, and accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), our degrees are widely recognised and highly valued by major employers; you will find Cass Real Estate graduates at all levels in leading real estate firms around the world.
- Capability: You will be taught by highly qualified real estate staff, all with at least 10 years’ experience in teaching in senior roles in the industry and active in research. And we draw on London’s unmatched pool of industry professionals to act as visiting lecturers and guest speakers.
- Focus: Cass only offers Real Estate courses on a postgraduate level – so you have the exclusive attention of our staff - and has specialised in courses which blend the professional, financial and practical skills in high demand across the real estate industry.
- Location: We are the only Business School to offer real estate programmes in London, with the opportunity to network in a global real estate hub, neighbouring both the City’s financial core and the new tech belt centred on Silicon Roundabout.
Cass Real Estate courses:
- Equip you with the core skills required by the industry embracing valuation, financial modelling, development appraisal, market analysis and cash flow modelling.
- Are set in a framework of robust quantitative methods, financial and economic theory.
- Have 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.
MSc Real Estate offers a choice of pathways, which you choose between in the second term. One option adds more UK-specific skills in law, valuation and taxation for those who want to join the graduate-entry programmes of chartered surveying firms. The second focuses more on financial analysis and international markets for those looking to work in investment, finance, development or outside the UK.
MSc Real Estate Investment requires a stronger background or aptitude in quantitative methods - from mathematics at final year high-school level, a degree with a quantitative element, or work experience. The course covers the same core “real estate professional” skills as the MSc Real Estate, but extends it to advanced methods in financial modelling, industry research and portfolio analysis, and covers in more detail the financial markets created by Real Estate Investment Trusts and Mortgage Backed Securities. Graduates from this course may enter the same businesses as those from the MSc Real Estate, but will but will be better qualified for “real estate analyst” roles in investment strategy, financing and research.
If you are not sure which of our degrees is best for you, you can put both on your application form and we will suggest which is more suitable.
The first term covers the portfolio of core real estate professional skills – quantitative methods in data analysis, valuation, investment, asset management and understanding real estate markets.
In the second term, our two core modules, applied appraisal and financial modelling, will expand on and apply the core real estate principles and methods you studied in the first term.
Your second term module choices provide two learning “pathways”.
If your aim is 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, taxation and applied valuation. If you aim to work in fund management, finance, development or outside the UK, you can tilt toward development and planning, investment vehicles and portfolios or international markets. Either way, your choice will not pre-determine the jobs available to you.
All of our MSc courses start with two compulsory induction weeks which include relevant refresher courses, an introduction to the careers services and the annual careers fair.
Principles of Appraisal
A module to set out the financial principles and core techniques used in valuation, cash flow modelling and investment decisions, which underpin the rest of the course. You will learn how to value a building, how to use forecasts to model future cash flows and investment returns.
Applied Data Analysis
To assess real estate markets and investments you will need skills in data analysis and business statistics. The module, from a base no higher than middle-school mathematics, shows you how to manipulate data and apply statistics to answering practical questions like measuring the return and risk on investments and using a basic regression model to explain market trends.
Asset and Fund Management
The management of real estate is critical to the success of all businesses. This module looks at issues like the role of real estate in firm strategy, cost control and benchmarking, layout and working practices which are critical for both occupiers of space and property owners who provide the space.
Economics and Market Analysis
A course in economics is standard for all Business School students. Here you will learn not only those general economic principles but also how they apply to real estate: what determines rent in different places, how differences in rent shape the skyline of our cities, why real estate development notoriously swings from boom to bust.
Shows how the principles and basic methods covered in Term 1 are extended to cover specialist property types like pubs and hotels, and are used in negotiations between landlords and tenants to decide terms for giving up, extending or transferring leases.
Real estate is often financed with a mix of equity and debt. Here you will learn the cash flow modelling techniques which underpin the use of senior, junior and mezzanine debt packages, and how to measure their impacts on the returns and risks of investment, with ample use of case studies and hands-on computer classes.
Plus any two of the following:
Applied Valuation and Taxation
Examines the statutory aspects of appraisal in the UK. Rating law and procedures, and taxation, particularly capital gains and value added tax, are also studied in depth.
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.
Investment Vehicles and Portfolios
The module first covers the main forms of real estate investment – direct, unlisted funds and listed companies – to develop an understanding of the structures used in the capital markets, and their performance. It then examines the approaches used by investors and fund managers to set investment objectives and structure portfolios to meet those objectives.
Development and Planning
A development is like a new business start-up, with a sequence of high-risk steps to go through – planning, design, financing construction, letting, final sale. The development module shows how those steps are managed, the valuation and cash-flow appraisals that drive development, with a case-study and hands-on modelling approach.
Business Research Project
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.
BRP's 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).
Term 3 Electives
In term three, you also 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.
Electives offered in 2018
- Building Project Management and Procurement
- Project Management, an Introduction for Professional Practice
- Real Estate Financial Markets: REITs, Debt and MBS
- Residential Investment
- Sustainability in Real Estate
- An Introduction to Islamic Banking, Finance and Insurance
- Corporate Restructuring
- Energy Markets
- Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
- Visual Basics in Finance
- Project Leadership
- Real Estate Fund Management (taught in Amsterdam)
- Project Finance and Infrastructure Investment (taught in Madrid, Spain)
All core modules in Term 1 and Term 2 are assessed by sight-unseen examinations (in January and April) plus coursework set and delivered in Term time. Elective modules are assessed by coursework only.
Your coursework will take a range of forms - essays, modelling projects, presentations, class tests. Some are done individually, others in self-selected or allocated groups of up to four. The mix of assignments is designed to develop the general and soft skills employers expect – time management, team working, report production and presentations.
Overall your final masters mark will be assessed on 50% exams and 50% coursework.
|Course Element||% Weight in Final Marks|
|Term 1 + Term 2 total eight core modules||66.67%|
|Term 3 Elective Modules - coursework||16.67%|
|Individual Business Research Project||16.67%|
Term dates 2020/21
In-Person ID Checks (all students must attend): Commences 14 September 2020
Compulsory Induction: 14 - 25 September 2020
28 September 2020 - 11 December 2020
Term I exams
11 January 2021 - 22 January 2021
25 January 2021 - 09 April 2021
Term II exams
26 April 2021 - 07 May 2021
10 May 2021 - 09 July 2021
Term III exams
12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test will do so in the period:
09 - 21 August 2021
Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project
30 August 2021
Official Course End Date
30 September 2021
Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.
Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.
Your Course Director will be Dr Mark Andrew, Senior Lecturer in Real Estate Finance. At Cass since 2007, Mark has over 15 years teaching experience. He is a highly skilled quantitative analyst who has published over 20 papers in highly ranked journals and a number of government commissioned reports on his research speciality in residential markets. He is currently serving on the IPF Research Steering Group.
Dr Mark Andrew teaches on the Applied Data Analysis module.
Stephen has over twenty years teaching experience, at Cass since 2005. 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 over 100 papers which break new ground in the field, mostly looking at investment risks and returns, asset allocation and portfolio construction.
Stephen teaches on the following modules:
- Asset and Fund Management
- Indirect Values and Portfolio
Professor Tony Key
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.
Tony teaches on the Principles of Appraisal module
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.
Bill teaches on the following modules:
- Real Estate Development
- Financial Modelling
Alex is Director of the Real Estate Research Centre at Cass and Course Director for the MSc Global Finance online course. He has previously held senior roles with Macquarie, Apax Partners, CSFB and BZW. He is currently Chairman of the Research Committee of the European Public Real Estate Association and runs a consultancy business advising institutions on their listed real estate strategies. He has authored numerous industry publications and academic papers.
Alex teaches on the Indirect Vehicles and Portfolio module.
Professor Sotiris Tsolacos
Sotiris is an academic with years of practical experience. Previously he was with Henley Business School and held posts at JLL and Property Portfolio Research/Costar from 1999 to 2013. He is a co-author of the standard textbook on real estate forecasting.
Sotiris teaches on the Economics and Market Analysis module.
Dr Paul Kennedy
Paul has over 25 years’ experience as a researcher and strategist focused on global real estate, private equity and infrastructure. He has held senior investment roles at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Invesco Real Estate, Parkes & Company and Henderson Global Investors. He has taught at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Reading University and Said Business School, Oxford. Paul holds a BSc in Real Estate and a PhD in Environmental Economics / Real Estate Valuation. He is also a professional member of the RICS (MRICS).
Paul teaches on the Applied Appraisal module.
How to apply
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
Documents which may follow at a later date
- IELTS results, if report available
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- Two references
- Work experience is not a requirement of this course
- For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK
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.
If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.
Terms and conditions
Students applying to study at Cass Business School are subject to City, University of London's terms and conditions.
- A UK upper second class degree or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution.
English language 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 the writing section and no less than 6.0 in any other section.
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
Application fee: Nil
Deposit: £2,000 (usually paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First installment: Half fees less deposit (payable during on-line registration which should be completed at least 5 days before the in-person ID–checks)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)
The largest proportion of our students go on to the graduate entry schemes of major firms of chartered surveyors in the UK, going through the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence to become qualified professionals.
The others go into a very wide range of employers and roles – with smaller niche agencies, fund managers, developers, investment banks, lending banks, public agencies, rating agencies, research companies, not to mention setting up their own businesses. Many will go on to professional qualifications outside real estate, such as Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.
Around half our students come from outside the UK, many of them take up jobs in other countries with the boost that a degree from Cass, accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is a widely recognised and highly valued qualification world-wide. And they will generally find Cass real estate alumni already there to form the base of their professional network.
Class of 2018 profile
Recent graduates from the MSc in Real Estate degree have secured positions in companies including:
- Graduate Surveyor, Commercial- BNP Paribas Real Estate
- Graduate Surveyor, Asset Management - British Land
- Graduate Surveyor, Valuations - JLL
- Analyst, Aquisitions - GLL Partners
- Analyst, Corporate Finance - CBRE Capital Advisors
- Anaylst, Research - CoStar
- Analyst, Real Estate Private Equity - Round Hill Capital
- Real Estate Assistant, Real Estate - Estee Lauder Companies
Connecting with employers
- From week one, we host recruitment visits from all the largest real estate employers – like CBRE, JLL, Cushman Wakefield, Savills – plus other firms in real estate fund management, development, finance.
- Our real estate specialists in the Cass Careers Service hold contacts with businesses across the industry, and will notify you of job opportunities as they come in through the year.
- You will have un-matched opportunities to network with professionals and employers across London’s vibrant real estate industry at seminars and an annual conference run by our students’ Real Estate Club, and through our mentoring scheme which matches you up with a Cass graduate, and through industry events outside Cass.
Where they are working now
- UK: 67%
- EU/ EEA: 10%
- North America: 2%
- South America: 2%
- African and Middle East: 7%
- Asia: 12%
Data provided from alumni who completed the annual destination data survey 2017/18.
Course information and statistics
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredits the course, enabling graduates to enter the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).