MSc Real Estate Finance

Course overview

The MSc Real Estate Finance programme will help you understand real estate in the context of the international financial markets. It is designed to prepare you for a career in finance or investment management where you will be required to evaluate property investments against equity, fixed income and other financial derivative products. The flexibility of this programme also prepares you to pursue a more general career within the finance and real estate sectors.

This programme provides the key applied, quantitative and conceptual skills sets needed to make the complex decisions required in the modern real estate finance and investment sectors.

The programme is offered jointly by the School of Real Estate & Planning and the ICMA Centre, with core modules providing coverage of the key underlying skills in both real estate and finance. The elective modules allow students to deepen that knowledge and to focus their studies on areas of particular interest. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the application of finance and investment in the context of real estate through a programme that combines academic rigour and commercial relevance.

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

How we teach you

Our programmes are designed and delivered by internationally-renowned experts, with a wealth of academic and professional experience. All of our programmes are regularly updated to maintain their relevance in a rapidly changing industry.

Our teaching received an excellent score in the most recent independent Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA), highlighting our commitment to maintaining a world-class learning environment. You will enjoy access to our cutting-edge research, both academic and industry, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of the field.

We believe that our students should have access to good quality resources and, in addition to the facilities offered by the University, we fund a professionally staffed Resource Centre. MSc Real Estate Finance students have access to a variety of databases, from both Real Estate & Planning and ICMA, including Bloomberg; SNL Financial; Thomson Reuters; Datastream and Costar.

Most of the modules on the programme are specifically dedicated to the MSc Real Estate Finance. Students therefore obtain the benefit of both highly focused modules and small group teaching.

We aim to create a stimulating academic environment; you will be encouraged to develop individual interests and general skills as a basis for a career in the property industry, a related field or for further study.

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

How to apply

Apply for 2016 entry now

There are two different application processes: apply online and apply by post.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Postgraduate study at Henley Business School, at the University of Reading is through the University’s online application service.

This allows you to complete your application information, attach electronic copies of your academic transcripts, certificates and other supporting information and also provides a facility for an email request to be sent to your referees enabling them to send your supporting references directly to us.

Apply online

Apply online now using the University of Reading's online application system.

Apply by post

If you are unable to apply online you can request a paper application form by telephoning +44(0) 118 378 5289 or writing to the Admissions Office, University of Reading, Miller Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK.

When to apply

We operate a rolling admissions system and it is recommended that you apply early to secure your place. There is no specific deadline and applications will be considered until the programme is full. However, to allow time for us to process your application we recommend that you apply by the following dates for admission in October:

  • UK/EU applicants: by 1 August
  • International applicants: by 1 June

After you apply

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your application form. Your application is then reviewed by a member of staff.  Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter outlining any necessary entry cri­teria you will need to meet and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of this offer.

A (non refundable) deposit of between £500 and £1,000 (depending on the programme you have applied for) is payable upon acceptance of an offer of a place. International applicants requiring a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a visa will be sent the CAS details by email once all conditions of the offer have been met, and the relevant deposit has been paid.

Throughout the admissions process we will keep you updated with key information via email.   We also provide opportunities to interact with faculty and staff online.

You can find us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with news and events in the School or ask us a question. In addition, you can speak to a current student; our students and alumni are always happy to share their Henley experience.

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Meet us

If you are unable to attend of the events listed below, please get in touch with our team.  We will be happy to speak to you by telephone, on Skype or through our Live Chat system (during UK office hours: 9 - 5 pm).

Our contact details are: or telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Please see our full list of world fairs where you can meet a Henley representative. 




Contact image

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Contact image

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Why Henley?

The University of Reading’s long standing reputation in real estate ensures that students on our MSc Real Estate Finance programme have exposure to leading thinking in both academia and industry. You will have modules led by some of the world’s leading real estate finance academics. Guest speakers from industry will further enhance that experience. The main field trip will be to a major global city. In the past it has visited New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Toronto. In addition, students will also visit a European city during the year.

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 2015/16. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Module Name Credits


This module provides an extensive examination of real estate markets, with particular emphasis on the nature of the underlying asset and how this impacts upon real estate investment and finance. The module also covers the economic dynamics of real estate markets, the valuation and appraisal of property investments, real estate development and the sources of real estate finance.

  • Investment characteristics of the commercial real estate market
  • An introduction to real estate economics and market analysis
  • Concepts of price, value and worth
  • Investment appraisal and risk
  • Real estate indices and performance measurement
  • The real estate development process
  • Alternative sources of real estate financing and their implications on investment appraisal
  • The impact of gearing on asset return and risk

20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module provides students with a comprehensive introduction to core econometric methods and their application to real estate investment and portfolio analysis. It enhances the ability of students to study relationships between the economy and the broader investment environment and the real estate market. The module emphasizes the practical uses and implications of core econometric methods with students further equipped by using econometric software to investigate real world situations.

  • Descriptive statistics for real estate data
  • Classical Ordinary Least Squares Estimation
  •  Hypothesis Testing, t-tests, F-tests
  • Dynamic models: multivariate regression analysis
  • Diagnostics checking and robust model building in real estate
  • Cross section and basic panel models for real estate market analysis
  • Stationarity, Unit Root Processes, ARMA Models applications to real estate

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

The field trip module aims to develop students’ understanding of the way in which the specific characteristics of different locations and markets impact the dynamics of the real estate market. Students will visit an overseas location and investigate the local real estate market; previous field trips have been to Hong Kong, New York, Singapore and Toronto.

  • Residential field trip to case-study market
  • Structured programme of lectures, presentations and project visits in the case-study city
  • Structured professional project brief
  • Group project

10 [5 ECTS credits]

The aim of the research project is to provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their learning from across the various elements of the programme and to utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills that they have developed. The project is an independent piece of research on a real estate finance topic of the student’s choosing.

  • Structured research methods
  • Independent research




30 [15 ECTS credits]

Optional Modules

The Real Estate Securities module examines the key indirect vehicles in the real estate market, examining real estate investment trusts (REITs) and property companies, private funds and real estate derivatives. The module will extensively address those issues that differentiate real estate securities from both the private real estate market and from similar mainstream assets.

  • Regulatory framework of real estate investment trusts
  • Financial statement analysis of REITs and property companies
  • Corporate finance and REITs: dividend policy
  • Corporate finance and REITs: capital structure and capital raising
  • Investment dynamics and characteristics of real estate equities
  • Geared investment and private real estate funds
  • Commercial real estate derivatives: total return swaps and futures
  • Housing futures contracts

20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module covers a range of material relating to real estate financing as well as the securitised debt markets from the perspective of the lender, with the key risk factors for the parties involved examined. The module provides extensive coverage of the mortgage backed security market.

  • Depository financial institutions
  • Shadow banking system
  • Sources and structure of financing
  • Securitisation
  • Financial market regulation
  • Credit and liquidity risks
  • Credit supply and credit channels

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to enable students to develop their understanding of the theories of investment strategy, portfolio selection and performance measurement as they apply to real estate. In addition, the Real Estate Investment module aims to develop students’ analytical capacity through the use and critical interpretation of a variety of quantitative techniques.

  • Real estate in a portfolio context
  • Measuring investment performance
  • International real estate investment
  • Alternative investment forms
  • Property indices and real estate data challenges
  • Real estate market cycles
  • Modelling commercial real estate markets

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2013/4Module Convenor: Dr Alfonso Dufour


Summary module description:

Building on the material introduced in Quantitative Methods for Finance, this module examines a number of additional techniques that are relevant for financial applications, and in particular for modelling and forecasting financial time series. An introduction to the methods of maximum likelihood estimation and Generalised Method of Moments will be given, and emphasis will be placed on modelling high-frequency data. Case studies from the academic finance literature are employed to demonstrate potential uses of each approach. Extensive use is also made of financial econometrics software to demonstrate how the techniques are applied in practice.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to
- Describe, estimate and evaluate a number of different approaches for modeling financial data with particular emphasis on trade data
- Determine the appropriate class of models to address a particular problem in empirical finance
- Compare and contrast a number of methods for modeling and forecasting the volatility of financial time series
- Write programs in a statistical software package in order to achieve particular tasks that cannot be accomplished using built-in functions
- Comprehend and critically evaluate the use of econometrics in the published academic finance literature

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of IT skills and in particular the manipulation of data using statistical software packages. Students will also improve their ability to translate abstract theoretical concepts into practical solutions to financial problems.

Outline content:
Topic 1 Stylised characteristics of financial data
- Trade data
Topic 2 Ordinary Least Squares (OLS)
Topic 3 Relaxing the OLS assumptions
Topic 4 Simultaneous equations models
- Simultaneous equations bias
- Identification
- Estimation, triangular systems
Topic 5 Vector autoregressive models
- Motivation, formulation, estimation
- Comparison with structural models
- Causality, impulse response functions, variance decompositions
Topic 6 Cointegration
- the Johansen approach
- hypothesis testing using Johansen.
Topic 7 Maximum Likelihood estimation method.
- Volatility modelling using autoregressive conditionally heteroscedastic (ARCH) models
- testing for ARCH effects
- estimation issues
- variants and extensions of the ARCH model
Topic 8 Panel data analysis
Topic 9 Simulations methods in econometrics and finance
- motivation
- pure simulation versus bootstrap
- variance reduction techniques
Topic 10 Conclusions


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Full Time: core lectures supported by lab based computer seminars and classroom based tutor led discussion.
Distance Learning: e-lectures using Interactive Learning Environment. Seminars will be replicated using extensive written materials supported by e-moderated discussion.

Contact hours:

  Spring Summer DL
Lectures 20    
Tutorials/seminars 10    
Other contact (eg study visits)      
Total hours 30    
Number of essays or assignments 7    
Other (eg major seminar paper) 1 hour multiple choice test    

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Other information on summative assessment:
Written Assignments (Group Projects): 40%
Written Exam (Final Multiple Choice Test): 60%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission of coursework will be in accordance with University policy


Length of examination:
3 hours.

Requirements for a pass:
50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:
By written examination only, as part of the overall examination arrangements for the MSc programme.

Last updated: 7 June 2013


20 [10 ECTS credits]


  • To provide an integrated understanding of housing markets, so that rigorous independent analysis of them can be undertaken.
  • To equip students with tools needed to examine residential property as an asset class.
  • To provide students with the analytic framework to understand wide impacts of housing sector in the economy.


  • Economics of Land Use Planning System;
  • Price Determination, Indices
  • Housing Finance Systems
  • Housing search Issues
  • Housing Affordability
  • Residential Investment and Government Initiative

20 [10 ECTS credits]

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Fees and funding

Home (UK/EU) Overseas (non EU) 
£18,700 £21,900
Please note that a non-refundable deposit is payable when confirming your acceptance of an offer of a place. This is part of your tuition fee and will be deducted from the total amount upon enrolment.

We are very pleased to announce that in addition to the funding opportunities offered below the School of Real Estate & Planning has a Scholarship Fund for the 2016 Postgraduate entry of £170,000.

Information on Scholarships for Real Estate & Planning Postgraduate students

Alumni of the University of Reading who undertake their next level of study at Henley Business School will receive a tuition fee discount of £1000.

Henley Business School is pleased to announce that a loan is available through Santander to assist Henley Business School programme members with funding across our portfolio of part-time programmes, including postgraduate courses. Participants who are studying whilst continuing employment now have the opportunity to borrow up to £20,000 to help towards their course fees. Rates from 4.3% APR on loans from £7,500 to £15,000. See the Santander Loan document for terms and more detail.

For more information please contact Edward Willoughby on 05511486340 or email.

UK/European Union Postgraduate Loans

The UK Government has confirmed that non-means tested loans of up to £10,000 will be available to students studying for postgraduate masters courses from the 2016-2017 Academic year. To be eligible, students will need to be English domiciled.  EU students, and individuals falling within certain specified categories, may also be eligible.

Full details of the loan, including how to apply, are due to be published this year.  You read more at Introduction of loans for postgraduate students and Government response to the Consultation on Support for Postgraduate Study.


(UK applicants only)

Applicants who normally live in the UK (for a minimum of three years) can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan to borrow between £300 and £10,000. This is a bank loan, with interest charged at a commercial fixed rate.

How to apply for a Career Development Loan

See Professional and Career Development Loans.

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

Applicants for our full time Real Estate programmes are generally expected to have obtained an upper second class honours degree or equivalent. The academic requirement for mature students may be relaxed in light of relevant professional experience.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide evidence of proficiency*.

For the programme in Real Estate Finance it is expected that the first degree will be in one of the following areas of study: business and finance, accounting, economics, mathematics, statistics, sciences or engineering.

Applications for both programmes are accepted from 1 November each year. Please note that applications are considered as they are received and you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible. Our programmes require a £1000 deposit from successful applicants. This should be paid within one month of receipt of the offer to confirm your place.

*IELTS (British Council International English Language Test): Score of 7.0 overall with no component less than 6.0
Internet Based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):  
Score of at least 100 with a minimum of 20 in Listening, Writing and Reading and 21 in Speaking.

2:1 degree, or equivalent, from an internationally recognised university. Evidence of satisfactory quantitative ability is required.

Apply online

Careers and accreditations

This programme is ideal for those wishing to pursue a successful career in real estate finance, investment management and research. Since its launch, graduates from the MSc Real Estate Finance have secured employment at a variety of firms, including JP Morgan, Unibail-Rodamco, Schroders, CBRE Finance, LaSalle, LNR Partners, ICG Longbow, DTZ, Grosvenor and Knight Frank.

Students are supported by a dedicated careers adviser and the Reading Real Estate Foundation. Our innovative mentoring programme pairs students with professionals in the industry, both in the UK and overseas.

The School of Real Estate & Planning has a worldwide reputation and a long history of providing postgraduate education in real estate. All our postgraduate programmes open up many options for employment in the real estate industry around the world.

Our alumni association,The Reading Real Estate Foundation, organise career development and recruitment events for real estate students throughout the year. These include an evening lectures series with key industry speakers, an annual Careers Fair and our highly successful Mentoring Programme which pairs students with professionals in the real estate industry.

We have a professional Careers Development Advisor,Jane Batchelor, who helps our students with every aspect of the career development process, including identifying work placement, internships and permanent career opportunities. The MSc Real Estate Finance students also have access to the ICMA Career Development Service.

Graduates from the Reading real estate masters are highly sought after and you will be well placed to take up positions across a wide range of positions in real estate investment, finance, portfolio & fund management and research. RICS accreditation also facilitates entry into the main property service and advisory firms. Since its launch graduates from the MSc Real Estate Finance have secured employment at firms such as JP Morgan, Unibail-Rodamco, Schroders, CBRE Finance, La Salle Investment Management, LNR Partners, Grosvenor, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Savills, Knight Frank and Gerald Eve.

Reading real estate masters students generally have secured employment at a wide range of firms including:

Investment and Commercial Banks:

Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS

Institutional Investors and Investment Funds:

Allianz Real Estate, Aviva, InfraRed Capital Partners, Invesco, Legal & General, M&G Real Estate, PATRIZIA Immobilien and Union Investment

REITs and Property Companies:

British Land, Grosvenor, Hammerson, Hines, Land Securities, SEGRO and Vastned

Consultancy and Research Firms:

Accenture, Ernst & Young, Fitch Ratings, IPD, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Property Portfolio Research

Real Estate Service Firms:

CBRE, Cluttons, Cushman & Wakefield, Deloitte Real Estate, DTZ, Gerald Eve, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank and Savills

The MSc Real Estate Finance is accredited by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It is also recognised by the Investment Property Forum (IPF), facilitating fast-track membership.

What our students say

"The MSc Real Estate course at Reading provided me with an excellent grounding in the technical knowledge needed to embark on a career in surveying, a brilliant network of people working within the industry and was great fun too. I made some really great friends while I was there and I am convinced that being at Reading was a key factor in securing my place on the CBRE graduate scheme."

Clare Blenkarne, Valuation Advisory, CB Richard Ellis

"I really enjoyed my time at Reading and felt privileged to be part of a course held in the highest regard by the property industry. The core modules gave me a wide range of essential real estate knowledge and the finance and investment options gave me the opportunity to narrow my focus and go on to pursue a career as an investment analyst."

Greg Mansell, Real Estate Analyst, CoStar Group

"The MSc in Real Estate at the University of Reading was the obvious choice for me due to the unprecedented reputation of the department and its staff within the real estate network. The ability and drive to keep the course current and the exposure to the big players from Day one of the course definitely contributes to that. When I arrived in industry I felt well prepared from an academic perspective, but equally from a business perspective. I would, and do, recommend the MSc in Real Estate as the number one course for anyone wanting to pursue a career in Real Estate."

Holly Franklin, Deloitte LLP

"The MSc at Reading has enabled me to gain the understanding and acumen necessary to be propelled into the Real Estate industry. Moreover, many of the people I met upon the course were like minded and will remain close friends for the rest of my life."

Dean Harrison, Cushman and Wakefield