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Masters in Real Estate and Planning

IPF Certificate, IPF Diploma & MSc Real Estate Investment and Finance (IPF Entry Route)

At a glance

  • Start the programme from either September or February
  • Stand out with an Industry-recognised programme
  • Learn from leading practitioners and academics
  • Option to progress to the IPF Diploma and then the Masters programme
  • IPF Diploma includes support from our Virtual Learning Environment
Subject area(s)
Real Estate & Planning
Depends on route
24 - 72 months depending on route taken
Programme Director
Dr Chen Zheng


In partnership with the Investment Property Forum (IPF), we offer a flexible route if you are wishing to obtain the IPF Certificate, IPF Diploma or the MSc Real Estate Investment and Finance. Delivered on a part-time basis, it comprises a series of professional development courses delivered by leading names in property investment and academia.

In a fast-moving global market, the IPF's industry-recognised education programme offers you a unique advantage. You will address the key areas of investment, finance and property. The programme will equip 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.

IPF Certificate in Property Investment

The Certificate consists of an introductory online course - Introduction to Property Investment. This is followed by two 4-5-day face-to-face courses; Corporate Finance and Real Estate Portfolio Management. These are delivered at the University of Reading’s Whiteknights Campus, in the Henley Business School.

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.

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

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

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

If you hold the IPF Certificate (achieved prior to September 2016), you are eligible to continue to the IPF Diploma. You will need to attend the Real Estate Investment Appraisal, Real Estate Securities and Real Estate Funding Flexible MSc modules.

IPF Diploma in Property Investment

These specialist modules lead to an externally accredited Diploma in Property Investment from the Investment Property Forum (IPF). This is recognised as the IPF Diploma. You will need to complete the 5 modules for this qualification. This includes Real Estate Investment Appraisal, Real Estate Securities, Real Estate Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance and Real Estate Funding. Each 4-5-day, face-to-face IPF Diploma module is delivered at the University of Reading, Whiteknights campus. It is also supported by Real Estate & Planning's Virtual Learning Environment.

If you are taking the IPF Diploma, you are entitled to free student membership of the IPF. This is for the duration of the course, to a maximum of three years. If you have successfully completed the IPF Diploma, you will be fast-tracked for full IPF membership. You can then use the designation DipIPF after your name.

MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance (IPF entry route)

If you have successfully achieved the IPF Diploma, this will provide 100 credits towards the MSc degree. Therefore, you will be eligible to continue to our MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance programme(IPF entry route). In order to attain the MSc, you will need to take a further 80 credits delivered in Reading. Please see timetable above.

IPF Diploma recipient - route to the MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance Flexible

If you already hold the IPF Diploma (achieved prior to September 2016) you are eligible to continue to the Flexible Masters programme. Please see timetable below for clarification on the advanced entry routes to the MSc Real Estate Investment & Finance Flexible programme.

Please email for further information on any of these qualifications.

Investment Education Programme Modules

Optional modules Credits

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.

To enable students to understand the financial, technical and market context of the appraisal of real estate investments. Students will be introduced to different concepts of value and how these relate to decision making in the property investment market. They will apply basic financial and cash flow models to the appraisal of real estate investments, identifying the appropriate approaches for estimating Market Value and Investment Value as defined by International Valuation Standards. The information content of appraisals will be also be considered, including inputs such as rental values, capitalisations rates, rental growth rates and exit yields.

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Summary module description:
This module introduces students to the primary real estate securities markets. The module will extensively discuss a variety of issues with respect to Real Estate Investment Trusts and Property Companies. It will also examine the debt capital markets. The module will examine how the different vehicles are structured and how they can contribute to a broad real estate portfolio. In particular it will cover extensively those issues that differentiate real estate securities from both the private real estate market and from similar mainstream assets

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to introduce students to concepts of investment strategy, portfolio selection and performance measurement, and to develop and apply these concepts in the context of real estate investment markets. Upon completion of the module, students should be able to understand key theoretical concepts in investment strategy, undertake basic modelling for portfolio decision making, critically appraise published work in the real estate investment field, and apply this knowledge to the analysis of real estate portfolio investment problems.

20 [10 ECTS credits]


  • Understand how financial issues influence decisions involving real estate within the firm.
  • Analyse the capital structure of a firm and its weighted average cost of capital.
  • Understand the problems that have to be overcome if real estate is to be treated on the same basis as other assets that are managed by companies.
  • Understand concepts of market efficiency as applied to property and the different approaches that can be taken to incorporate market perspectives into real estate management and decision making.
  • Describe the contribution of options, both real and financial, to management decision-making techniques.
  • Critically discuss the choices of target return required for real estate investments.
  • Understand the forms of financing available to real estate companies and relative costs.
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Summary module description:

The module will present and analyse several sources of funding and their pricing. The process of raising equity for private real estate investment will be introduced and examined. As far as debt funding is concerned, alongside traditional methods (e.g. private lending and mortgages), the module will review structured products and hybrid forms of financing. Particular emphasis will be given to the implications of different funding structures on returns that are achieved or are achievable by equity investors.

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Participants who successfully complete the face to face courses of the Investment Education Programme will receive the IPF Diploma from the Investment Property Forum.

This 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
  • To understand the principles required for constructing a portfolio and how its performance is measured
  • To introduce participants to the basic forms of modelling that can he used in practice.

The course will also cover:

  • Financial mathematics
  • Applying DCF techniques to investment projects
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Investment risk and return
  • Basic portfolio theory
  • Fixed income and equity investments

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • understand the use of statistics and financial mathematics in investment valuation and analysis
  • value investments in simple situations
  • appreciate the use of DCF and apply DCF techniques in investment project appraisal
  • appreciate the relevance of risk and return in a portfolio context
  • understand basic portfolio theory

Suitable for anyone wishing to improve their knowledge of financial mathematics or experience in finance and investment.

Please note that the content of this course focuses very much on mathematics, statistics and excel. You should prepare by reading the handbook at least once carefully and studying the workbook provided in advance of the course


The IPF Certificate in Property Investment requires the successful completion of Introduction to Property Investment, Real Estate Portfolio Management and Corporate Finance.

This qualification is listed by the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) 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

The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change.

Our Investment Property Forum Education Programme modules are delivered by leading names in property investment and academic research. This will give 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. This will be followed by timed assessments and a project for completion within a specified timescale. 

Course Attendance

Each classroom module is four to five days in length and is delivered in Reading at the University of Reading Whiteknights campus. These modules are taught by leading academics in the real estate field and comprise of lectures, workshops, and discussion groups. 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. This ensures that you can apply your new skills to your working environment.


Each classroom module is assessed individually by means of coursework. This is 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 (CPD attendance). If you successfully complete the module assessments, you will be awarded the IPF Certificate.

If you successfully complete the whole programme of six modules, you 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.

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
Introduction to Property Investment (eLearning)
Real Estate Portfolio Management
Corporate Finance

The IPF Diploma

The IPF Diploma is awarded upon successful completion of five classroom-based modules.

Modules that make up the Diploma
Real Estate Investment Appraisal
Real Estate Securities
Real Estate Portfolio Management
Corporate Finance
Real Estate Funding

Our students and alumni are always keen to share their Henley experience. Whether you are a prospective applicant or already applied to a Masters programme at Henley Business School. You can ask questions to a current student by clicking the “Chat to our students” button below.

When contacting one of our students, please introduce yourself and the Masters programme you have applied for.

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Contact us

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

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