- 2017 Entry
- Course content
- Teaching staff
- Entry requirements
- Tuition fees and term dates
- Career opportunities
Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: Closed for 2017/8
Why a Cass Real Estate Masters?
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.
Which Cass Real Estate Masters is for you?
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.
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
Who will I study with?
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.
Meet the team
If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.
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.
We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice.
To satisfy the requirements of the degree course students must complete:
- Eight core courses (15 credits each)
- Three electives (10 credits each)
- Business Research Project (30 credits)
Assessment of modules on the MSc in Real Estate Investment, in most cases, is by means of coursework and unseen examination. Coursework may consist of standard essays, individual and group presentations, group reports, classwork, unseen tests and problem sets. Please note that any group work may include an element of peer assessment.
The MSc in 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
Your Course Director will be Professor Sotiris Tsolacos, who is joining Cass from the 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.
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. Your Course Director.
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
Bill Rodney, Senior Lecturer. 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.
Real 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.
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.
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.
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 result, 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
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.
The entry requirements for the MSc Real Estate Investment are as follows:
- A UK upper second class degree 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
Applicants will need to submit two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference.
- 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.
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 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 2017/18
Application fee: Nil
Tuition fees: £23,000 Currency Converter
Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First installment: Half fees less deposit (to be paid at registration)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)
A limited number of merit based course scholarships are available for early applicants.
Term dates 2017/18
In-Person Registration (all students must attend): Commences 18 September 2017
Compulsory Induction: 18 - 29 September 2017
2 October 2017 - 8 December 2017
Term I exams
8 January 2018 - 19 January 2018
22 January 2018 - 30 March 2018
Term II exams
23 April 2018 - 4 May 2018
7 May 2018 - 29 June 2018
Term III exams
2 July 2018 - 13 July 2018
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test will do so in the period:
13 - 31 August 2018
Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project
1 September 2018
Official Course End Date
30 September 2018
In recent years, real estate students have been some of the most heavily recruited of all Cass MSc degrees because:
- 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,
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.
View data from our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) from 2015
'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