A vocational Masters, open to students from any background, any discipline who wish to kick start a career in the chartered surveying profession - valuation, property investment, development. Fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for worldwide recognition.

This programme is studied on campus.

Want to join an exciting profession with excellent career prospects?

The degree is a 12 month full time ’conversion’ programme for students with a wide range of first degrees who want to fast-track a career path into the real estate profession.

With proven academic credentials, this Master's degree has been running at the University of Aberdeen for over 20 years, underpinned by our world-renowned strengths in valuation, property investment, economics and finance. Combining academic rigour with the professional edge, the degree has become highly regarded by employers throughout the world.

The main emphases of the programme are on;

  • economics, finance, business and quantitative skills
  • institutional and legal factors and the policy environment of real estate
  • property management, market analysis, investment and development
  • analysis and problem solving in a strategic business context

You can choose from :

  • a commercial UK focused real estate pathway aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in the UK.


  • an international real estate pathway, enabling students to gain an in-depth understanding of real estate from a global perspective.

The Real Estate Group, based within the School, is internationally recognised for its research excellence in this specialist field – and as such gives our students the great advantage of accessing a wealth of powerful data.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Real Estate Research (BU5030) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an introduction to academic and industry real estate research and includes interpretation and discussion of contemporary real estate research issues. The course includes the design and implementation of a research project: topic choice, methodology and method, bibliographical tools and literature review, qualitative and quantitative research techniques and ethical issues.

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Property Law & Institutions (BU5032) - 15 Credit Points

This module aims to examine the legal and professional environment of property. The module introduces key concepts from property law to explain the framework within which property can be held, used and traded. Planning law and policy is considered as part of the regulatory system through which land use and development are promoted and/or controlled.

The course focuses on Scots law and institutions but students have the opportunity, where appropriate, to bring draw upon their own comparative perspectives.

This course covers the legal basis of land tenure; land registration; property ownership; landlord and tenant relationships; obligations and restrictions, and planning.

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Valuation and Finance (BU5035) - 15 Credit Points

The course introduces the mathematics of valuation and investment and considers the principles underlying basic valuation and investment formulae. The distinguishing characteristics of the bond, equity and property market are critiqued. The five property valuation methods are discussed via a series of lectures supplemented by tutorials/workshops in which valuation problem-solving tasks are discussed, with an emphasis on the investment method of valuation. While the focus is on real estate, the course seeks to raise awareness of the range of investment opportunities. The course seeks to develop good numeracy and analytical skills.

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Real Estate Economics (BU5036) - 15 Credit Points

This course aims to provide an overview of basic economic models and recent developments regarding the working of real estate markets and urban land markets. The course is intended to enable students

i) To examine real estate as a set of linked markets, functionally divided between use, investment and development

ii) To understand the dynamics of specific types of real estate markets and appreciate real estate market modelling approaches

iii) To understand the location patterns of land use within urban areas and regional development

iv) To understand the role that regulations and planning play in real estate markets

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

International Real Estate (BU5524) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an in-depth examination of real estate markets in Europe, North America, the Asia-Pacific and the transitional/developing world. The course begins with an introduction to trade theory and foreign investment before focusing on specific real estate markets and analysing institutional differences between them and how these differences impact risk, costs and return on investment. The course includes in-depth field study in Europe in which students examine a specific real estate market and create an investment strategy designed specifically to the target market.

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Advanced Valuation and Development (BU5525) - 15 Credit Points

This course applies the principles of valuation to more complex real world examples. Topics covered include rent reviews, compulsory purchase, property investment, property development and national and local taxation. Students are encouraged to critique traditional approaches to valuation and to consider contemporary alternatives. Numeracy and analytical skills are further developed along with expertise in the use of Excel. In addition, the course also covers professional surveying practice, including ethics, and stimulates discussion on contemporary issues and debates in the real estate industry.

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Strategic Marketing (BU5553) - 15 Credit Points

The course aims to provide participants with a critical understanding of the nature and articulation of the marketing function within modern organisations, and an appreciation of the relative contribution of specific marketing tools to the development of a market orientation.

On completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Critique the key principles and concepts of marketing.

2. Evaluate the role of marketing to modern organisations in private and public sectors.

3. Understand the integration of the marketing function with other organisational functions.

4. Assess the role of identified marketing techniques

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Real Estate Finance (BU5563) - 15 Credit Points

The course introduces students to concepts of portfolio management and recent developments regarding real estate investment vehicles. The course takes a financial economics viewpoint and places real estate investments within this context. The course covers such important aspects as securitization of initially illiquid real estate assets, the management of building portfolios and the use of index swap contracts for risk management purposes. The course discusses also real option theory and applies it to land development and the pricing of lease contracts.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

BU5914 Critical Studies Paper


15 credits from the list of MBA summer school options

Critical Studies Paper (BU5914) - 30 Credit Points

This course aims to allow students to bring together their knowledge, learning and understanding gathered from across the modules studied. Students are required to choose an appropriate topic, and place it in the context of an appropriate body of literature and identify key concepts, ideas and definitions pertaining to the topic and its development. Students will select appropriate methodology to support the paper and organize empirical and theoretical material observing relevant academic conventions. The work will present a logical and cogent argument in support of conclusions drawn from material consulted.

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Strategic Financial Analysis (BU5946) - 15 Credit Points

Introduction to accounting: Key accounting concepts Financial reporting Financial statements Financial analysis: A framework for analysis Accounting ratio analysis Common size analysis Stock market ratios Credit ratings Z scores Forecasting: A framework for forecasting Parameter estimation Financial forecasting models Issues in analysis: The links between the stock market and accounting International accounting issues

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Talking to Teams (BU5948) - 15 Credit Points

This course will help to highlight, in a variety of business and non-business contexts: i) the various real-life ways in which managers’ subtle, highly sophisticated and socially organized communicative actions have a significant impact on the perceptions and performance of the employee groups/teams they supervise and work with; and ii) what communicative methods managers can employ to more effectively relay information to, obtain feedback from, motivate, persuade and, more generally, enhance the performance of their staff teams.

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Supply Chain Management (BU5965)

The Supply Chain Management course aims to provide delegates with a broad understanding of supply chain management and how it relates to the energy industry. Completing the course participants will: Understand how supply chains can be effectively designed and controlled in a range of circumstances; be able to evaluate approaches to the management and development of the supply chain; and discuss the characteristics of contemporary supply chains and assess their contribution to organisational effectiveness.

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Essential Human Resource Practices (BU5971) - 15 Credit Points

This course aims to deliver a `best practices’ primer on human resource (H.R.) activities associated with successful organizations in the private and public sector. Students will gain an understanding of the linkages between various HR policies and procedures, and key organizational outcomes. Furthermore, they will gain the ability to critically appraise and analyse various methods of organizing and employing human resources in the organizational context. Learning will be encouraged by student and instructor interaction, reading, class discussions, and group work. The course integrates academic research findings on HR topics with practical issues faced by individuals in the workplace.

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Digital Marketing (BU5991) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides both a strategic orientation and tactical orientation:


§ How to align digital strategy with a wider business strategy

§ The value that (internal and external) research and analytics can bring to digital marketing decisions


§ Assess the quality of any website based on a range of important measures

§ Benchmark a website’s performance against online competitors

§ Investigate the potential of a business idea for a given market sector

§ Present digital marketing research and advice to a generalist audience

§ Understand the potential commercial value of social media

§ Interpret onsite analytics in support of business objectives

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Optional Courses

Real Estate Dissertation (BU5955) - 60 Credit Points

The dissertation is an independent piece of work. The choice of topic is largely your own but approval must be obtained from the course coordinator and your dissertation supervisor. The dissertation should contain a large degree of original work and allow you to demonstrate in depth the skills and knowledge you have acquired on the MSc. The dissertation should be around 15000 words in length. You will be expected to show competence for independent work and to demonstrate a clear definition of the problem or subject area to be studied and the formulation and expression of a logical, workable solution.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment: By course work, by written examination or by a combination of those, as prescribed for each course. The degree of MSc(Econ) shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve CGS D3 in the relevant dissertation course, irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Real Estate (Commercial Option)?

The programme has several key strengths:

  • Degree is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) allowing graduates to proceed to the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) following appropriate work experience
  • Degree has been running for over 20 years and has established a strong reputation among employers with many past graduates employed in senior positions in the profession.
  • Programme is based in the Graduate Business School and benefits from strong links with the economics, finance and management disciplines.
  • Offers a particular focus and strength on commercial property valuation and investment and the study of international real estate markets.
  • International Real Estate module includes a week long European field trip
  • Students on the international pathway can elect to travel to Asia and visit 5 cities as part of the Asian Cities module.
  • Average cohort size of 15 to 25 students ensures an interactive, friendly learning environment
  • Teaching staff are active researchers ensuring that the content is at the forefront of current thinking
  • The Real Estate Group has strong links with the profession with practitioners regularly involved in workshops and field trips
  • Business and Management ranked 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK for research in terms of real world impact (REFi 2014).

So you can be confident that you're investing in a learning experience that is widely recognised as being at the cutting edge of what's happening in business and learning from globally respected staff who are seen as leaders in this field.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

This programme is open to graduates from any discipline, and does not require business or management study to be completed at undergraduate level.

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a degree at 2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours level (or a degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Our graduates achieve notable success in the employment market, with many employed by the major surveying firms in lucrative careers spanning surveying, investment, property valuation, planning and development and property management.

As there are more chartered surveying positions in London than there are in the rest of the UK, it’s no surprise that many of our past students are now enjoying careers with major surveying firms in the capital. But we also have significant numbers of former students in Glasgow and Edinburgh – not to mention many engaged with local practices throughout the UK.

Industry Links

Our business connections mean we provide opportunities to network with, present to, brainstorm with and do work for industry, including;

  • The chance to have your work seen by eminent members of your profession
  • Work and network with employers from a range of national and multi-national companies through our visiting speaker programme
  • ‘Live’ projects for and site visits to prestigious companies or institutions
  • Project work and workshops with visiting lecturers and industry specialists


Accreditation and world-wide recognition from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) allows graduates to proceed to the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

This degree holds accreditation from

What our Alumni Say

Suree Itthiphonphoom

Suree Itthiphonphoom

Suree Itthiphonphoom

Graduated 2017

The lecturers share their industry experience with you through their teachings which further extended my knowledge of Real Estate.

Our Experts

Programme Leader
Professor Norman Hutchison

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


  • 24 hour access to our online Learning Support provided via our Virtual Learning environment MyAberdeen
  • Membership of the University Library, learning materials including access to core text books
  • Access to international networking and continuing professional development
  • Join our business societies such as the Entrepreneurial Society
  • Access to all campus facilities
Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Business School
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
AB24 3QY