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Course content

MSc Real Estate Distance Learning is an intensive fast-track conversion course that fulfils the professional entry requirements of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The course combines academic excellence with the explicit development of transferable skills that are essential for a career in real estate, whether in the private or public sector, or in the UK or internationally. It builds on the established strengths of the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), and has a particular focus on the social and environmental aspects of property, alongside the economic factors. 

You'll therefore develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of real estate in society, business and, particularly, to the end-user. Underpinning our course is the belief that a long-term perspective is essential to the successful development and management of real estate assets.

Commercial awareness is also at the heart of the course: recent research has highlighted the need for surveyors to provide leadership in solving business problems rather than simply providing traditional technical skills, and we take a problem-based learning approach to embed commercial awareness throughout. 

The impact of globalisation and sustainability on real estate practice is also reflected throughout the course, with opportunities to examine legal and regulatory frameworks and property markets on an international basis. 

Real estate practice is complex and this course reflects the need to effectively utilise a broad base of knowledge and skills. It will actively encourages you to develop connections between the knowledge and understanding garnered in one unit with that in another through careful design of learning materials and assignments.


The aims of the programme are:

  • to provide students with a framework of knowledge, understanding and skills to enable graduates to take a leading role in addressing the challenges facing the real estate industry.
  • to develop students' capacity for critical thinking and ability to present sound, well-justified arguments and solutions to complex problems, recognising the interconnected nature of real estate practice
  • to draw on the world-class research and practical experience of the School of Environment, Education and Development, together with our excellent links with business and the public sector, to enable students to explore new insights into the areas of sustainable development and strategic management of the built environment
  • to facilitate student learning by providing an intellectually challenging and stimulating learning environment, involving both independent and collaborative project work
  • to be highly relevant to future employment in the real estate industry, with a strong focus on developing commercial awareness and to produce graduates who have a wider understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens.
  • as an RICS accredited degree, to enable graduates to embark on the Assessment of Professional Competence which leads, after successful completion of a two year period of practical experience, to membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Special features

  • The virtual learning environment offers you the flexibility to fit your studies around your other commitments.
  • You have the option of at least two days of face-to-face engagement with the tutors during each 6-month block of study.
  • Flexible entry means that you can join the programme in either July or January each year.

Teaching and learning

The online learning packages are at the heart of teaching and learning on this programme. Short video introductions to each topic are supported by a range of online material including webinars, podcasts, tutor-developed interactive written material, case studies and directed reading. You can test and reinforce your knowledge and understanding with end of topic self-test questions which will provide feedback on your answers and direct you to further reading. You will be encouraged to reflect on your studies by using Blackboard to facilitate both peer-to-peer and tutor-led discussions via discussion boards, wikis and blogs. The material is designed to be dynamic and cater to a range of students with different levels of prior knowledge and experience. If a topic is new to you then we recommend that you work through the material in a sequential manner. However, you may consider that you already have a good knowledge of some of the topics. The end of topic self-test questions can be used as a way of testing your knowledge and understanding and of identifying particular areas to focus on.

Guest contributors and lecturers with current industry experience will ensure that a strong connection is made between theory and practice.

Many course units employ an interactive learning approach where simulated real world problems are posed and students, working in groups or individually, seek to identify the issues and how these may be resolved within the context of professional practice. Case study material such as plans, video walk-throughs and photos will be used to enrich these real world scenarios.

A key part of a Manchester Education is to allow students, where consistent with professional body requirements, the opportunity to personalise their learning and, in several course units, such as Land and Development, Real Estate Modelling and the Dissertation , you will have the ability to select and design your own assignment around your own particular interests.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of this course are assessed by a variety of methods, including essays, report-writing, project portfolios and presentations. The majority of assessment is based on individual work with an element of collaborative project work. After successful completion of the taught-element of the course, you will undertake a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice, overseen by an appropriate supervisor.

Course unit details

  • Real Estate Markets (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Property Valuation (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Real Estate Investment and Finance (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Strategic Asset Management (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Planning for Future Cities (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Land and Development (DL) (Mandatory)
  • Real Estate Law in Practice (DL) (Optional)
  • Real Estate Modelling (DL) (Optional)
  • Corporate Real Estate Project (DL) (Optional)

Disability support

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

Visit the Real Estate (Distance Learning) (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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