IPF - Investment Education Programme: 2 stage route to MSc Real Estate Investment and Finance (Flexible)

Course overview

The School of Real Estate and Planning at the University of Reading, in partnership with the Investment Property Forum (IPF), now offers a unique flexible two-stage route for those wishing to obtain the MSc Real Estate Investment and Finance on a part-time basis. It comprises a series of professional development courses delivered by leading names in property investment and academia.

Stage 1: IPF Diploma in Property Investment

These specialist modules lead to an externally-accredited Diploma in Property Investment from the Investment Property Forum (IPF), recognised as the IPF Diploma. Students complete the Investment Valuation & Portfolio Theory and Financial Instruments & Investment Markets modules (delivered face-to-face in London) and then 4 modules offered on the MSc Real Investment & Finance (flexible) programme to complete this qualification. Each 4-day, face-to-face IPF Diploma module is delivered at the University of Reading, Whiteknights campus and supported by Real Estate & Planning's Virtual Learning Environment.

Delegates taking the Diploma are entitled to free student membership of the IPF for the duration of the course, to a maximum of three years. Those who have completed the Diploma are fast-tracked for full IPF membership. 

Those who successfully achieve the IPF Diploma can use the designation DipIPF after their name.

Students may then continue on to Stage 2 to complete the MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance, as outlined below


Stage 2: MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance (IPF entry route)

Having successfully achieved the IPF Diploma (Stage 1), providing 100 credits towards the MSc degree, students are eligible to continue to our MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance programme (Stage 2) the IPF entry route.  In order to attain the MSc, students will need to take a further 4 flexible modules delivered in Reading.

Please see details and timetable below.  

IPF Certificate in Property Investment

The Certificate consists of an introductory online course - Introduction to Property Investment - followed by 2 three-day, face-to-face courses; Investment Valuation & Portfolio Theory and Financial Instruments & Investment Markets. These are usually delivered in central London.

The IPF Certificate is listed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a Key 2 Appropriate Examination under the Managing Investments activity.  Holders of the IPF Certificate will need to complete a Key 3 qualification, namely a UK regulatory examination, to meet the full examination requirements for this activity.  For more information on the appropriate examinations, please see the FCA Handbook.

Students who obtain the Certificate are eligible to undertake the additional three modules (taught at Reading) to gain the IPF Diploma. The IPF Diploma can be achieved as a stand-alone qualification as outlined above.

Any of the modules can be attended on a CPD basis, subject to eligibility.

Please see IPF Certificate and/or Diploma Module Timetable above.

Students already holding an IPF Certificate - route to the IPF Diploma

Students who already hold the IPF Certificate (achieved prior to September 2016) are eligible to continue to the IPF Diploma. Please see Module Timetable (below) for clarification on how to achieve the IPF Diploma – University of Reading route.


Students already holding an IPF Diploma - route to the MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance Flexible

Students who already hold the IPF Diploma (prior to September 2016) are eligible to continue to the MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance Flexible. Please see timetable below for clarification on the routes through this programme.

Please email ipf@reading.ac.uk for further information on any of these qualifications.


Students are expected to complete approximately five hours of preparation reading. The materials are provided by Real Estate & Planning about 2-3 weeks in advance of the course starting.

The assessment for each course comprises two pieces of written work: one in the form of a 90 minute exam on the third day of the course, and the second a take-home assignment (generally in essay format) to be submitted two weeks after the end of the course.

Course Director

Mr Paul Batho

Paul Batho is a Chartered Surveyor with nearly 30 years experience in professional practice and education, specialising in commercial property valuation and investment.

He was Director of Studies at the College of Estate Management, Reading for 8 years and has taught extensively at undergraduate and postgraduate level, specialising in distance learning.

Prior to joining the College, he spent 20 years based in the City of London, specialising in providing professional property advice to leading national and international clients in the field of commercial property finance and investment.


If you have any questions, please contact us by email at ipf@reading.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6219.

How we teach you

Our Investment Property Forum Education Programme modules are delivered by some of the leading names in property investment and academic research, giving you access to some of the sharpest minds in the industry in an intimate and informal atmosphere. Each module comprises pre-reading, three days of face-to-face workshops and group seminars in central London, followed by timed assessments and a project for completion within a specified timescale. 

IPF Investment Education Programme Module Timetable 2016 - 2017

Course Attendance

Each classroom module for the IPF Certificate is three days in length and is delivered in the City of London. Each module is led by leading specialists in the field. Class sizes are kept small so that participants have some individual tutored time, gaining maximum benefit from discussion periods. There are also opportunities to network with fellow students-usually drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. Workshops act as an interface between theory and practice and ensure that participants can apply their new skills in their working environment. The IPF Diploma modules are delivered in Reading at the University of Reading Whiteknights campus. These modules are four days in length, and are taught by leading academics in the real estate field and comprise of lectures, workshops, and discussion groups.


Each IPF Certificate module is assessed individually and by means of timed assignments and project work. Each IPF Diploma module is assessed by coursework, completed after the module, and due for submission around 8 weeks after the module has taken place.  Assessment is optional, if you are choosing to not follow either the Certificate or the Diploma. Candidates who successfully complete the module assessment will be awarded a Certificate.

Candidates who go on to successfully complete the whole programme of six modules will be awarded the Investment Property Forum Diploma. The Forum Diploma will give fast track membership to the Forum where appropriate.

The non-assessed route gives CPD hours for attendance. Further guidance is available from the Programme Office.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at ipf@reading.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6219.

How to apply

To apply for a place on the IPF Investment Education Programme, please download and complete the application form below and return it either via email to ipf@reading.ac.uk or by post to:

Real Estate & Planning
Henley Business School
University of Reading

Application Form: IPF Investment Education Programme

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at ipf@reading.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6219.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at ipf@reading.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6219.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at ipf@reading.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6219.

Why Henley?


In a fast moving global market, the IPF's industry-recognised education programme offers you a unique advantage, Addressing the key areas of investment, finance and property, the programme will equipe you with the latest knowledge and skills to ensure you stay one step ahead. Join your peers at these intensive, interactive sessions and immerse yourself in a fresh, topical leading-edge learning experience.

Drawing on the expertise from leading practitioners and academics, the IPF Investment Education Programme offers a uniquely applied, practical approach underpinned by the latest academic research. Gain an up-to-date perspective on your industry in a challenging environment. 

Real Estate & Planning:

Our School is the largest in the UK for teaching and research in real estate and planning. Established in 1968 at the University of Reading, we are the only major UK real estate and planning centre to be located within a business school.  Being part of the Henley Business School reflects our close and longstanding collaborative relationship with industry.

We enjoy a worldwide reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and we are consistently highly ranked in all major league tables. We undertake internationally recognised, leading edge research into real estate, planning and land and we offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, all of which are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our planning courses are also fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Our programmes are held in high regard by leading employers, many of whom come to us each year to recruit our graduates. We are proud of our outstanding employment record, with more than 95% of our students entering graduate level jobs within 6 months of leaving us.

Henley Business School:

Consistently maintain highest standards: Henley is in top 1% of business schools worldwide to hold accreditation from all three bodies in the UK, Europe and US

Excellent networking potential : 70,000 Henley alumni in 150 countries

High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Masters students join Henley each year

Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities

World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events

Part of world top 1% ranked university: Reading has a global reputation for its learning experience and employability potential.

Course modules

Module descriptions are correct for modules taught in the academic year 2016/17. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Module Name Credits

Investment Education Programme Modules

In the Introduction to Property Investment course you will explore the way in which markets function and how they relate to one another - the subject of much debate and argument. Some economists believe that markets are self-correcting mechanisms that react swiftly to correct pricing anomalies. Others consider markets to be inherently imperfect because of the various forms of rationality that the human actors constituting the market apply to market transactions. Stock markets are closer to the former perception; real estate markets are closer to the latter. If these two classes of investment are so different why are they both considered to be investment assets and how do they relate to each other and to other forms of investment? You'll learn the answers to this question in this course.

This is an e-learning module introducing the vocabulary, concepts and methods typically encountered in further study of property investment. The broad aim is to ensure that participants on the other modules comprising the Investment Education Programme are able to participate with a relatively uniform knowledge of these basic issues. The e-learning format enables participants to manage their study time efficiently and with flexibility, at distance.

In addition, it is a valuable introduction, as a stand alone module, for those wanting to know more about property investment. Suitable for those without substantive property investment experience, although others may find it very useful as a refresher.


The Investment Valuation and Portfolio Theory module is an essential foundation property investment course for financial analysis and combines an introduction to basic property investment mathematics and statistics with applications to property valuation and portfolio management.

You will learn to understand the tools required for financial and investment analysis, including basic financial mathematics and statistics. You will gain an understanding of the principles required for constructing a portfolio and how its performance is measured as well as being introduced to the basic forms of modelling that can be used in practice.

This course is suitable for anyone wishing to improve their knowledge of financial mathematics or experience in finance and investment.


In the Financial Instruments and Investment Markets course you will gain an overview of the main asset classes, their principal characteristics and analytical techniques. You will examine the main considerations for investors and look in some detail at the main asset classes, excepting property. An in-depth study of property as an asset class as well as of property investment vehicles is offered in other modules.

You will examine each of the securities markets, the instruments available in these markets and putting the different investments into perspective. An important part of this module is to introduce you to the characteristics of the major investors and to the terminology used in the securities markets. Property investment vehicles will be introduced into the course where analytical techniques that are of general use across investment markets can be applied to property investment vehicles.


The module covers a range of material relating to real estate finance and debt markets, focussing on the types of funding and the vehicles to access the financial markets available to real estate borrowers. This module also assesses the financing decisions from the perspective of the lenders. The material examines key risk factors for borrowers and lenders with regards to real estate finance and how these can be hedged using derivative instruments. Securitisation and in particular Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) as financing vehicles will also be examined. Given the core role played by interest rates for financing decisions, the module will explore the role of central banks and monetary policy transmission channels in relation to real estate finance. Finally, it will assess how real estate financing decisions are affected by current financial market regulation.


20 [10 ECTS credits]

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop understanding of the financial, technical and market context of the appraisal of investments in general and the appraisal of real estate in particular. Students will be able to understand and apply cash flow techniques for the pricing and appraisal of investments and apply these techniques to commercial real estate investments.


20 [10 ECTS credits]

This unit aims to enable students to develop their understanding of the concepts of investment strategy, portfolio selection and performance measurement and their application to real estate markets. It will develop students’ analytic capacity. Upon completion of the module, students should have a detailed understanding of key theoretical concepts in investment strategy, be able to appraise critically published work in the field and apply this knowledge to the analysis of complex real estate problems.


20 [10 ECTS credits]

Summary module description:
To acquire knowledge of the main opportunities of indirect investment in real estate. To develop understanding of the different features of real estate securities and direct investment in real estate. To understand how real estate securities are structured and priced in capital markets.


20 [10 ECTS credits]

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Fees and funding

Fees for 2016 - 2017

Online module: £450

Each 3-day module: £1,599 per module

A Discount is available for the IPF Certificate: Fee for the Certificate programme - online module and two 3-day classroom-based modules: £3,430

Fee for the Diploma programme - £10,998 for two 3-day classroom-based modules delivered in London, £1599 each plus, four 4-day classroom-based modules delivered in Reading, £1950 each.


The University provides opportunities to students from a wide range of backgrounds, who have the desire and ability to succeed. There are a range of scholarships and bursaries on offer for postgraduate students. For further information see: Money matters, costs and budgets for postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

  • The academic entry requirement is a good first degree (normally upper second) or, an equivalent if from outside UK or a professional qualification such as FRICS, MRICS, ACA, ACCA.
  • Students are also required to have a minimum of 3 year’s work experience in a relevant industry.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English (with a minimum IELTS level of 7 or higher)

We will consider applications from those who do not entirely fit these requirements. Please note these requirements do not apply to the introductory online module, Introduction to Property Investment.

Apply online

Careers and accreditations

The IPF Certificate

The IPF Certificate is listed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a Key 2 Appropriate Examination under the Managing Investments activity.  Holders of the IPF Certificate will need to complete a Key 3 qualification, namely a UK regulatory examination, to meet the full examination requirements for this activity.  For more information on the appropriate examinations, please see the FCA Handbook.

Modules that make up the Certificate are:

  • Introduction to Property Investment (eLearning)
  • Investment Valuation & Portfolio Theory
  • Financial Instruments & Investment Markets

The IPF Diploma 

The IPF Diploma is awarded upon successful completion of six classroom-based modules:

  • Introduction to Investment Valuation & Portfolio Theory
  • Financial Instruments & Investment Markets
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Investment & Finance
  • Real Estate Portfolio Management
  • Real Estate Securities

What our students say

"Very high quality speakers throughout. Useful learning tools acquired"

"Exceeded my expectations! Far greater 'workshop' feel which gave me great appreciation for investment strategies"

"Absolutely brilliant! Very informative, brilliant presenters. Really learnt bucket loads ... hopefully to be reflected elsewhere!" 

 "This course is very useful in its current context, and I would recommend it to any of my colleagues"