MSc Real Estate Asset Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Strategic Asset Management

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN60351
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit will introduce students to the role of the asset manager, primarily from the perspective of commercial property investment.  It will cover both the strategic aims and the tactical approaches that are used in the pro-active asset management of a real estate portfolio.  

An important part of this course unit is the use of a ‘virtual portfolio’ comprising a variety of properties, with individual risk profiles, for which management information, typical of that found in UK practice, will be provided.  Principles and techniques of asset management are considered in the lectures and then discussed in the context of these buildings. The workshops comprise a series of structured problem-scenarios, which you will work together in groups to resolve.  The final workshop will involve valuing the portfolio to quantify the success of your asset management decisions.  As part of your assessed critical reflection, you are required to consider your personal learning outcomes from this series of workshops.

Topics to be covered include:  adding value – is this enough?; performance metrics and risk management; sustainability and responsible property investment; tenant-mix, place-making and the ‘experience’ economy; financial and lease management including the use of ‘green leases’; the user perspective – the landlord and tenant relationship; workplace design for flexibility and performance.


  • to introduce the principles of strategic asset management and encourage informed debate over different strategies and styles of management
  • to explore the tactics used to pro-actively manage real estate assets
  • to encourage an inquisitive, critical and forward-looking approach to problem-solving and develop students’ ability to anticipate consequential effects of their decisions in asset management

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

Teaching and learning methods

A range of teaching and learning methods will be adopted with conventional lectures used to introduce topics in a structured manner. The weekly workshops are used to explore a particular issue and each group of students will decide on an appropriate course of action, which will have a direct impact on the occupation and financial arrangements of your portfolio.   Over the course of this unit, the portfolios will develop according to the decisions that you have taken and allow students to understand the tactical considerations and implications of real estate asset management. There will be opportunities to discuss issues with surveyors in practice.  As noted in the Programme Specification, all course material will be available online. Formative feedback will be given through Q&A, discussion and interactive activities within lectures, workshops and tutorials. The Blackboard system will also provide continuous feedback and joint learning through the use of an FAQ section. There is a scheduled opportunity to submit a reflective journal extract and receive individual feedback on this but this does not contribute specifically to your overall course mark.  Substantive written feedback on your assignment will be provided through Blackboard.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Discuss the role of the real estate asset manager and alternative management strategies.
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of factors, such as covenant strength and sustainability regulations, in the context of real estate investment asset management
  • Explain the implications of asset management decisions for real estate asset value

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate information, make considered judgements and produce innovative and credible solutions to a problem
  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to problem-solving.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate numeracy skills through appreciation of issues around selection, accuracy, uncertainty and approximation with numbers

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate the importance of attention to detail
  • Demonstrate sound ability to communicate ideas and arguments concisely, using appropriate language for the target audience
  • Demonstrate high levels of commercial awareness

Assessment methods

Reflective Journal Extract (300-500 words) - FORMATIVE, feedback only

Critical reflection (3,000 words) - 100%

Feedback methods

Verbal feedback is available on coursework discussed during consultation hours. Substantive written feedback on your assignments will be provided through Blackboard

Recommended reading

There is no textbook which matches the course content but these two give a good overview of the issues involved with the practical aspects of managing real estate assets:

Banfield, A. (2005) Stapleton’s real estate management practice 4th ed. London: EG Books
Scarrett, D (2010) Property asset management  3rd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.  Available as an e-book through UoM library
[There is a later version but this is not available as an e-book through UoM library: Scarrett, D. and Wilcox, J. (2018) Property Asset Management 4th edn. Abingdon: Routledge]

Specific readings or other material that will support you on this course will be provided at relevant times. The books below indicate further reading on specific topics that are relevant to the course and all are available online through UoM library.

Baum (2015) Real Estate Investment: a strategic approach 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Edwards, B.W and Naboni, E. (2013) Green buildings pay: design, productivity and ecology 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge

Haynes, B. P., Nunnington, N. and Eccles, T.  (2017).  Corporate real estate asset management: strategy and implementation.  Oxford: Elsevier

Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Angwin, D., Regner, P., & Scholes, K. (2013)  Exploring Strategy Text & Cases. 10th edn.  Harlow: Pearson Education UK.

Jowsey, E. (Ed.) (2014) Real estate concepts: a handbook. London: Taylor & Francis

Porter, M (1998) Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance.  New York: Free Press [originally published 1985, this has an updated introduction and is available online]

Schon, D.A. (2016) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Abingdon: Routledge
[Originally published in 1991 by Ashgate Publishing Ltd]

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 18
Seminars 14
Independent study hours
Independent study 118

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Selma Carson Unit coordinator

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