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Property Finance (MSc)

Course Description

Property Finance is a well-established area of essential expertise within the real estate industry for the purchase and development of properties which may have varying levels of complexity. The finance specialist utilises modern skills, techniques and systems to successfully source and provide an adequate flow of accessible funds to buy, sell and develop land and buildings.

This course is intended to give you a detailed understanding of property finance and the associated property appraisal techniques and processes, encompassing both legal and social aspects. You will analyse investment and development finance situations and respond to particular financial problems with derived solutions. You will also be able to appraise options and independently evaluate alternative courses of action.

The design of the course recognises the significant challenges of providing an educational experience that is practical, relevant and challenging and meets the requirements of the relevant professional bodies. The programme, while still providing the discipline and structure of regular attendance at the University, aims to give a practical educational structure through workshops and projects.

MSc Core Modules

The work for this module comprises the completion of your dissertation or major research project, and incorporates a guided reflective exercise on personal and professional development. You can opt for a traditional academic dissertation which identifies a hypothesis and research questions, involves some original research, draws conclusions and, if appropriate, makes recommendations. Alternatively you can complete a defined project involving the preparation of a strategy or action plan for an issue relevant to your studies, and include a 20,000-word reflection on, and evaluation of, the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and the constraints which are likely to impact on the proposals.

•Finance and Asset Management
The aim of this module is to set corporate decision making in the context of the business environment, corporate goals and the practice of company finance, estate and portfolio management. You will gain a grounding in property as an asset class, and a practical and theoretical appreciation of the techniques and practices currently being used in the management and valuation of commercial property. In the financial element of this module, you will explore issues relating to accounting principles and financial management accounts, and the implications of tax. Equally important is an appreciation of ratio analysis and strategy.

•Law for Property Professionals
This module fosters reflection on where the law comes from and how it develops (including the influence of European Law), and encourages your understanding of the relationship between the legal process and social change. You will develop mastery of the key principles (and their operation in practice) of English Law relating to business, including contract, tort, real estate law and regulatory regimes which particularly affect the property industry.

You will also gain a greater understanding of legal theory, including statute and judicial precedent; the role of Europe; tort, contract and business law; administrative law and regulatory regimes; real estate law; and landlord and tenant law.

•Property and Finance: Policy and Practice
Property is a major contributor to asset holding and investment in most economies. You will examine the bigger picture around property and money. You will look at differing sources of funds for investment and development of property, both residential and commercial, and investigate the thought processes used to make decisions on whether to proceed with a particular deal. You will also examine bank and fund strategy at the highest level.

•Property Finance: Lending and Risk Strategies
In this module you will address the strategic role of lending in the property sector. The sector has become dependent upon lenders for the vast majority of cash inflows, and in this module you will look at the history of the involvement of lenders, and the risk assessment and procedures involved in lending on property. The study of traditional banking will be supplemented with investment banking techniques.

•Site Assembly and Development
In this module you will focus on the financial, physical, legal and social aspects necessary for successful real estate development projects to take place. The emphasis is on the needs of end users of developments, and those other key players in the development process. There will be an emphasis on commercial real estate development, but the module will also serve well those requiring an understanding of mixed use and residential development projects and processes. The legal focus will centre on the system in England and Wales although techniques and examples will be drawn from a range of jurisdictions.

MSc Option modules

Choose one from the following:
•Development Finance and Funding
This module gives you the opportunity to study and analyse the finance and funding of property development and investment transactions. You will explore the concepts and law surrounding the valuation and feasibility of developing land and buildings to an advanced level. This module includes a study trip to New York.

•Landlord and Tenant
This module covers the concepts and law surrounding commercial lease practice and rent reviews/lease negotiation, from both a landlord's and tenant's perspective. You will develop an understanding of, and familiarity with, the legal background to the landlord and tenant relationship, and its application in practice. This will include the study of statutory security of tenure, rent review, and other usual lease clauses including 'break' clauses, repair, user, alterations and alienation. You will also consider and discuss points of practical difficulty and complexity involved in negotiating lease terms and their subsequent implementation.

•Valuation and Law
This module centres upon methods of valuation applicable to properties for rating, and compulsory purchase purposes together with leasehold enfranchisement and properties subject to the housing acts

Associated careers

The course has been designed to be professionally relevant and to produce Masters graduates who are well-rounded and adaptable, with the ability to communicate with people at all levels, and are critical thinkers with inquiring, innovative minds and good research skills.

Successful completion of the course should enhance your career prospects and help you to achieve professional and senior positions in property finance and real estate.

Accreditation of the course by the RICS will enable you to pursue full professional membership of this body. The attributes detailed above will also provide evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and continuing professional development. Those wishing to continue their academic studies will have an excellent grounding for Doctoral level research, or a career in academia.

Property Finance Postgraduate Diploma

The Property Finance Postgraduate Diploma takes one year to complete full-time and two years to complete part-time. You take the following modules from the MSc course:
•Finance and Asset Management
•Law for Property Professionals
•Property and Finance: Policy and Practice
•Property Finance: Lending and Risk Strategies
•Site Assembly and Development

Property Finance Postgraduate Certificate

The Property Finance Postgraduate Certificate takes one year to complete part-time. You take the following modules from the MSc course:
•Property and Finance: Policy and Practice
•Property Finance: Lending and Risk Strategies

Visit the Property Finance (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will normally be expected to hold at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (which need not be in a cognate subject) and should ideally (although not essentially) be in relevant employment in a professional or managerial capacity in a property or construction related organisation. Alternatively, applicants may hold membership of a recognised property or construction-related professional body achieved through examinations and/or professional interview, ideally together with experience in a professional or managerial capacity in a property or construction-related post.

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