Real Estate Finance and Investment URBAN5038

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course investigates direct and indirect real estate as a financial and investment asset, competing for funds with other assets classes.  It explores the attributes that determine the risk and return characteristics of this investment class, and compares and contrasts with the main asset classes.


The course will be delivered in 3 hourly blocks in semester 2, once per week, over 6 consecutive weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






The course will be assessed through a 2,500 words academic essay, chosen from list of five focused essay questions that allows the student to investigate a selection of topical UK and international real estate investment issues.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to enable students to analyse real estate as a financial and investment asset, competing for funds with other assets classes.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

In accordance with the specific and evidenced competency requirements of the accreditation body (RICS), by the end of the course, participants should be able to:

■ assess and evaluate the role of real estate in a mixed asset portfolio and compare alternative strategies for the construction and management of real estate portfolios;

■ critically discuss the main principles of investment to real estate and apply in the comparison of the characteristics of the main financial asset classes with those of direct and indirect real estate investments;

■ critically evaluate portfolio theory and recent developments within the field;

■ recognise the importance of portfolio benchmarks and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative benchmarking approaches;

■ differentiate between debt and equity instruments and understand how they are used to finance real estate investments;

■ distinguish between the different forms of indirect investments and understand their income and risk characteristics;

■ acknowledge and critically assess recent developments in financial engineering including real estate securitisation and real estate derivatives;

■ critically appraise investments; 

■ robustly interpret, analyse and apply a range of investment measurements; and

■ work effectively in groups to research, prepare and present a presentation on indirect vehicles.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc Real Estate.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications.