BA / MA (Hons) in Real Estate Management and Finance


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


This degree programme is perfect for you if you want to pursue a career in the finance sector and you’re keen to specialise in property-related advisory and consulting roles. It is particularly relevant if you’re interested in a management role in banking, financial or real estate professional services (valuation; strategic property management; portfolio and fund management). The course has been designed so that you will benefit from a broad management and finance background and later in the programme link these with the specialist sector of real estate.

You’ll study a range of finance and management theories beginning with core subjects related to economics; finance and general management. You’ll learn how to analyse financial and real estate markets and gain a greater understanding as to how financial institutions and property markets operate. Being based as a UAE specific programme launching exclusively at the University’s Dubai Campus, you will also have the chance to learn about practical aspects first hand in the worlds’ most dynamic and exciting real estate market!

Why study Real Estate Management and Finance at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus?

This programme balances approximately 65% Real Estate/Built Environment courses with 35% Finance and Management courses. The programme is suitable for students keen on business management and finance with an economics or commerce background who are interested in gaining a specialist undergraduate qualification.

The MA in Real Estate Management and Finance has been designed in response to employer demand and in recognition that the property sector is now a central part of wider financial markets. The sector locally in Dubai (UAE) is developing and very much conforming to global best practices. Recent additions to International Valuation Standards (IVS) and International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) are two examples where our students would benefit from studying a relevant programme. Furthermore, discussions with major firms also highlighted the need for graduates to have a holistic range of business and finance skills alongside the technical knowledge relevant to property (for instance financial modelling). To this end, particular emphasis is placed on ensuring that students are familiar with the latest concepts in mixed-asset portfolio analysis, risk management, financial and valuation modelling.

Heriot-Watt property programmes have been ranked as one of the leading programmes in the UK. Heriot-Watt takes an applied focus, going beyond textbook and theory to explore real-world issues and solutions. Our programme combines real estate management with business and finance and graduates will have sought after transferable skills in writing, research and critical evaluation. MA (Hons) graduates have career opportunities in business and property professions and are eligible for a broad range of postgraduate programmes across both disciplines. Students take part in a professional project that matches them with local practitioners and employers.

Course content

This undergraduate programme is exclusive to Heriot-Watt University in Dubai. The University has built up close links with international corporations and property firms in Dubai and therefore understands the needs of an ever-changing business world and property marketplace. This new programme managed under the University’s Urban Institute is a combined programme linking students with a keen interest in business and finance to the world of real estate management and finance. The programme places a high value on teaching both theory and application, and we expect you to graduate with an excellent understanding of the latest knowledge and ability to solve first-hand current trends in the workplace.

The MA programme consists of eight taught courses per year (over 4 years). Each academic year has been designed to accommodate the relevant learning and teaching for a career in property and finance. A short description of each stage is shown below:

First Year: Fundamental of Business and the Urban Economy

Year 1 combines a number of relevant business and finance courses so that students are equipped with the relevant background of data analysis and analysis of financial markets. Core subjects include economics; management and business. Urban geography and the built environment components offer a linkage of the economy to property and construction markets. These courses provide an introduction to academic study, to the built environment professions, and to the nature of the work carried out by property surveyors.

Second Year: Theories of Finance and Urban Economy

Year 2 expands on the introductions in the first year allowing for more rudimental analysis and understanding of financial markets and management practices relevant to the business and property worlds. This year introduces property economics and the links between the economy and the property market, as well as giving you an overview of how cities are planned, managed and developed. Students will be able to use economic concepts and financial theories to explain activities in the construction and property market. The presence of planning based courses will also allow students to look to the future and evaluate the importance of sustainable development and it considers how cities will evolve/future challenges.

Third Year: Appraisal, analysis and evaluation techniques

Year 3 is very much underpinned by the technical and analytical aspects of the property industry, be it real estate investment, development and asset management. Wider courses on financial markets allow students to appreciate the synergy between bond markets, currency markets and property markets. It will also present the opportunity to include practice-based work in core areas of development appraisal and financial modelling. The courses introduce students to the development process and the commercial drivers behind it. It highlights how commercial, financial, economic, legal, planning, design and physical development considerations contribute towards real estate advisory and appraisal work. Students will develop a detailed and critical understanding of principles, theories, techniques and practices relating to the appraisal and valuation of capital investments, with particular emphasis on real estate investments. Graduates on this course will gain the skills necessary to produce investment and market valuations, and undertake comprehensive appraisal, evaluation and interpretation of real estate investment performance, at single asset and portfolio levels.

Fourth Year: Management of risk and financial assets

Year 4 is designed to develop a wide range – and critical understanding – of the principles, theories, techniques and practices relating to property and project finance, corporate finance, financial risk management, property taxation, and property finance negotiations. It brings in components of post-development decision-making regarding asset management and portfolio management. The programme concludes with a research dissertation that requires students to investigate a topic of choice in an extended project, building critical thinking; literature analysis; application of suitable research methods, analyse data, and produce conclusions and recommendations.

The programme allows a broad range of career choices for students, whether they want to develop a role in real estate management or real estate finance, based upon their own interests and career aspirations.

English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction at secondary school, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 Academic (with no element below 5.5).

Application deadline

Our Dubai Campus operates a rolling year-round admissions process: as soon as one intake has closed we begin accepting applications for the next one. It is also possible for you to defer your start date for up to a year.

Most students apply 6–10 months in advance of their chosen intake. We can accept applications up until 3 weeks before the start of each intake but you should note that a late application will almost certainly mean a delay in the provision of essential administrative services, such as your student matriculation card (without which you won't be able to access the library or online services).

Last updated Sep 2019

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About the School

Pioneering British education in Dubai, with highly acclaimed degree programmes that meet the specific demands of local business and industry.

Pioneering British education in Dubai, with highly acclaimed degree programmes that meet the specific demands of local business and industry. Read less
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