MSc Real Estate Asset Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Strategic Asset Management

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.  Part of your assessment comprises an individual critical reflection on the 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, well-being 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


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 in the context of the virtual portfolio 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 through the use of an FAQ section and joint learning by using discussion boards.  Verbal feedback is available on coursework discussed during consultation hours. Substantive written feedback on your assignment will be provided through Blackboard

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the role of the real estate asset manager and alternative management strategies.
Demonstrate sound understanding of the implications of asset management decisions on 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

Recognise the importance of attention to detail
Demonstrate ability to communicate ideas and arguments concisely, using appropriate language for the target audience
Demonstrate commercial awareness through consideration of a broad
range of issues and the implications on value.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

1,000 word critical reflection (35%)  This will consider the lessons learnt from this course unit, with a particular focus on the workshop element.  There will be an opportunity in one of the workshops to discuss the draft critical reflections to gain verbal formative feedback on this style of writing.

2,000-2500 word essay (65%) on a topic chosen from the list issued in Week One

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 (2011) Property asset management 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge

The books below provide further reading on specific topics that will be covered in the course:
Collins, J. (2001) Good to great: why some companies make the leap, and others don’t.  London: Random House
Edington, G. (1997) Property management: a customer focused approach.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Edwards, B.W and Naboni, E. (2013) Green buildings pay: design, productivity and ecology 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge
Finch, E. (Ed) (2012) Facilities change management Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
Forrester, P. (2004) Case in point - service charges. Coventry: RICS Business Services Ltd
Haynes, B. P. & Nunnington, N. (2010).  Corporate real estate asset management: strategy and implementation.  Oxford: Elsevier
Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (2011)  Exploring Corporate Strategy 9th ed Harlow: Prentice Hall
Kotler, P. & Lee, N. (2005). Corporate social responsibility: doing the most good for your company and your cause. New Jersey: John Wiley & Son.
Parboteeah, K.P. and Cullen, J.B. (2013)  Business ethics  Abingdon: Routledge
Pine II, B. J. and Gilmore, J. H. (2011). The experience economy. Rev. ed. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing
Porter, M (2004) Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance  London: Free Press
Schon, D.A. (1991) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Avebury: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Sirgy, M.J. (2014) Real estate marketing. Abingdon: Routledge

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 32
External visits 4
Lectures 20
Seminars 14
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Selma Carson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

eAssessment denotes Directed reading/online tests/exercises (30 hours) and Assignment Surgeries (2 hours)

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