MSc Real Estate Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

MSc Real Estate Development is a fast-track conversion course that will allow you to gain the necessary framework of knowledge, understanding and skills to enable you to pursue a successful career in real estate development, in the UK or internationally.

Core course units are shared with our MSc Real Estate Asset Management and will provide a solid grounding in real estate from the perspectives of investor, developer, occupier and the wider global society.

Optional course units allow you to develop deeper knowledge of real estate in areas of particular interest to you.

This course has normally included a residential fieldtrip to London, and an optional fieldtrip to another major international city. 


You will:

  • develop commercial awareness whilst building your technical real estate knowledge base;
  • develop your analytical and communication skills to present sound, well- justified arguments and solutions to complex problems;
  • gain a global perspective on the challenges facing the real estate profession.

Special features

  • This course has normally included a short residential fieldtrip to London. The cost of this field trip is included in the course fee.
  • This course has normally offered an optional international fieldtrip to explore current urban issues in a city. Past locations include Seattle, Toronto, Berlin, Barcelona or Amsterdam.
  • Opportunity to work alongside industry-mentors on a real-life project.
  • Based in the `living laboratory' of Manchester, enjoy site visits and expert presentations on industry-leading schemes.
  • Have the flexibility to specialise or mix discipline units, choosing from a wide range of options across real estate, environmental management and planning.
  • Develop practical skills using specialist real estate, statistical or spatial analysis software.
  • Benefit from close staff-student relationships and guided one-to-one supervision.
  • Opportunity to take part in a range of business competitions and entrepreneurship activities.

Teaching and learning

This course is designed to be highly relevant to future employment in the real estate field, with a strong focus on developing commercial awareness and understanding of global issues.

We adopt a theoretically informed, practice-orientated, approach to teaching and learning.

This draws on both our world-class research and our excellent links with business and the public sector.

Fieldwork is an important part of the learning experience and this course normally includes a three-day residential fieldtrip to London, usually in October.

Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend.

This course has normally included an optional field trip. Past locations include Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Seattle and Toronto. The field trip has an additional charge and would usually take place during the second semester or Easter vacation.

Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) cannot guarantee that, where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted but will ensure that, in the unlikely event that a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

Other optional units include a consultancy group project, working alongside industry mentors, and the possibility of undertaking a 15-day professional placement.

In addition, a comprehensive range of site visits, guest lectures and presentations from business and public organisations are an integral part of the course, and networking opportunities are strongly promoted.

Part-time students

Part-time students complete the course over 24 months.

There are no evening or weekend course units available; you should, therefore, discuss course requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer.

Timetabling information is usually available from late August.

You can discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Important notice

The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 22/23 academic year and we very much hope that students will be able to enjoy the fieldwork experience in the usual way. The ability of fieldwork to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork might be necessary, will remain subject to the current global situation and factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover;
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

We will therefore assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any decisions to our students at the earliest possible opportunity.

Any fieldwork that does go ahead will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff.

If the fieldwork does not go ahead as planned, then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the course are assessed on a continuous basis by a variety of methods, including essays, presentations, online tests, topic papers and project reports.

Traditional examinations are not used in the core real estate units.

Most assessment is based on individual work with an element of collaborative project work.

A 15,000-word dissertation is prepared on an approved topic, which is discussed and chosen at the beginning of the second semester and a suitable supervisor allocated.

Initial work focuses upon an overview of the chosen topic, a literature review and the design of the methodology to be adopted.

During the latter part of Semester 2 and the summer, you undertake the necessary research and analysis, culminating in the writing of your dissertation.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Land and Development PLAN60102 15 Mandatory
Property Valuation PLAN60331 15 Mandatory
Dissertation [MSc RED] PLAN60390 60 Mandatory
Real Estate Markets PLAN61061 15 Mandatory
Planning Powers and Procedures PLAN60021 15 Optional
Professional Placement PLAN60070 15 Optional
Corporate Real Estate Project PLAN60082 15 Optional
Design for Healthy Places PLAN60111 15 Optional
Real Estate Investment and Finance PLAN60191 15 Optional
Advanced Real Estate Finance PLAN60292 15 Optional
Real Estate Law in Practice PLAN60342 15 Optional
Environmental Impact Assessment PLAN60411 15 Optional
Local Economic Development PLAN60511 15 Optional
Real Estate Modelling PLAN60572 15 Optional
Urban and Regional Policy PLAN60712 15 Optional
Planning for Environmental Change PLAN60771 15 Optional
International Fieldtrip PLAN60832 15 Optional
Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities PLAN60852 15 Optional
International Planning: Systems and Frameworks PLAN60861 15 Optional
Infrastructure Planning PLAN60872 15 Optional
Future Cities PLAN62011 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 21 course units

What our students say

The highlight of this course has been the strong involvement and support offered by the staff and my supervisors.

I always feel up to date and never overwhelmed.

I was fortunate enough to attend a field trip to London with my classmates in my first year of study.

We did a real inspection of an office building which was a great way to put knowledge into practice.

It was also an excellent opportunity to make friends with the other students.

Roisin Carey, MSc Real Estate Development (part-time)

I think the most challenging part of the course so far is also the most rewarding - the amount of independent learning involved.

It's quite a big jump from how my undergraduate degree was, but if you have good time-keeping skills and work hard, then it is very rewarding!

Shree Thakker, MSc Real Estate Development


You can develop your practical skills in our project rooms and computer suites with specialist real estate, statistical and spatial analysis software.

For more information, see Facilities .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email