Real Estate - BSc (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

UCAS Code:
BSc (Hons)
  • Full Time (3 years)
  • Part Time (5 years)
  • Sandwich (4 years)
The Birmingham School of the Built Environment
Faculty of Technology, Engineering & the Environment
City Centre
Course Graphic - Real Estate BSc (Hons)

This course is aimed at you if you are interested in the study of the built environment and in the acquisition, disposal, management and valuation of land and buildings. Essentially ‘real estate’ is about land and property. The work of a general practice surveyor does not represent a traditional nine-to-five occupation and, by the very nature of the profession, the work is enormously varied.

Key Facts

  • Fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – a preferred route for those looking to eventually qualify (with further study) as a Chartered Surveyor.
  • Excellent links with industry employers provide opportunities for voluntary work placements and permanent career opportunities.
  • This course offers a thorough knowledge of the entire building process as well as a broad understanding of environmental and planning procedures.
  • Facilities supporting your studies reflect the work environment you will enter; these include surveying equipment, true to life documentation and a computer-generated Virtual Suite.
  • This course provides you exemption towards the Home Inspectors Award.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our courses equip you with a working knowledge of Sustainable Development.
  • The comprehensive study project will allow you the opportunity to develop the theory and practice you learn into the real world.
  • Our innovative collaboration with Birmingham City Council’s Urban Design Team means you can gain work experience, work on key individual research projects, gain technical application skills, as well as win excellence awards and contribute to projects influencing future council policy.
  • The Inter-Professional Project, delivered in conjunction with Birmingham City Council’s Housing and Regeneration and Development Department, allows you to undertake research on behalf of an industry client; our students’ recommendations now inform council policy.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

  • 280pts, minimum of two 6-unit or one 12-unit A Level (GCE or VCE) including a minimum of four GCSEs including English and Mathematics grade C
  • BTEC National Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
  • HNC/HND all Merits. If less points may be able to offer non RICS course
Unconditional Offers 2014/15

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Application Details

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: N230.
Apply via UCAS

Part-time: Applications for part-time undergraduate courses should be made direct to the faculty.
Application form for part-time undergraduate courses

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BSc (Hons) £7,500 per year
Sep 2014 PT 5 years BSc (Hons) £940 per 15-credit module
Sep 2014 SW 4 years BSc (Hons) See below
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BSc (Hons) £10,100

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Sandwich year

Where a full-time undergraduate student opts to extend the normal length of a Bachelor’s degree by an additional year in order to take a full-year work placement there will be no fee for the additional placement year.

Additional costs

You will be required to buy an essential text for use in exams and tests. Although hi-vis vests and hard hats are loaned to you, a pair of safety boots for site inspections is a necessary personal purchase, allow £50-£60 for these items. We are also proposing a field trip at the end of the second year.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally–recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Open Days

Saturday 14 June 2014 (9am - 3pm)

Open Day Courses Tab June2014

Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.

You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers – as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.

There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.

Who is it for?

The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.

bcyou icon registerRegister to attend the Open Day

University Approach to Employability

Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.

Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.

Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.

* Sunday Times University Guide 2012

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates have found employment with utilities services, in private practice, commercial organisations, local and central government. They have undertaken a wide variety of work, including domestic, commercial and industrial projects. General Practice Surveyors might find themselves advising clients on commercial and residential agency, property valuation, property management, investment, planning and development.

Graduate Profiles

pcp lisa hastilowLisa Hastilow

Course : BSc (Hons) Real Estate
"Birmingham City University was the best university for what I wanted to study to become a property surveyor. The work was really great and I really enjoyed learning the theory, especially the law."


The delivery of the course is complemented by a range of visits to sites where you will be able to appreciate theory in context.

Full details on industry placement opportunities can be found on the School placements page.

Further Studies

You will be encouraged to progress to postgraduate study within the school, which provides a range of relevant Master’s courses. Details can be found on the courses section of the website.

Full Time

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

86.8 per cent of leavers from the Birmingham School of Built Environment who responded to our survey entered employment (and/or further study), earning an average full-time salary of £22,000. Employers hiring leavers from the School include the Amey Plc. and Bovis Homes, offering positions such as Quantity Surveyor and Architectural Technologist. Other graduates have secured roles with Laing O’Rourke, Currie and Brown, Taylor Wimpey, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, Thomas Vale Construction, Bigwood Associates, and NHBC.

Working with your Students’ Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Structure

The course has been designed to enable you to understand and solve problems of land-use allocation, appraisal and management. There is a strong emphasis on legal and development issues. The course introduces modules covering law, valuation, property development, business management, economics, technology services, mapping and surveying, and marketing and management.

Once you graduate, you will have a thorough knowledge of the entire building process as well as a broad understanding of environmental and planning procedures. After completion of this course, should you want to be employed in the property market, it will be necessary for you to work for a Chartered Surveyor and study for the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) qualification, before applying to become a Chartered Surveyor. This course provides exemptions towards the Home Inspectors award.

Course Modules

Year 1
Professions in Context 15 Credits
Real Estate Economics 15 Credits
Business and Accounting 15 Credits
Building Construction and Inspection 15 Credits
Principles of Valuation 15 Credits
Agency and Marketing 15 Credits
Law for the Built Environment 15 Credits
Professional Practice Project 1 15 Credits
Year 2
Professional Practice Project 2 15 Credits
Planning and Development Appraisal 15 Credits
Residential Surveying 15 Credits
Law for Property and Planning 15 Credits
Landlord and Tenant Law Practice 15 Credits
Applied Valuation 15 Credits
Property Investment and Finance 15 Credits
Professional Practice Project 3 15 Credits
Year 3
Inter Professional Project 15 Credits
Corporate Real Estate Management 15 Credits
Portfolio Decision Making 15 Credits
Professional Practice and Managerial Skills 15 Credits
Advanced Applied Valuation 15 Credits
Valuation and Law 15 Credits
Honours Research Project 30 Credits

Part-time students are on the HNC route for two years and after successful completion, students will join the level 5 undergraduate programme.

Assessment Methods

The range of assessment methods adopted includes continuous coursework assessment, presentations and reports as well as examinations.

pcp matthew smith

Matthew Smith

Senior Lecturer

Matthew is a Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham School of the Built Environment. He is Course Director for BSc (Hons) Real Estate.

Before joining Birmingham City University he worked for Colliers Bigwood and Bewlay, Chesterton plc and King Sturge & Co. in the fields of agency, insolvency and compulsory purchase but mostly in valuation and development appraisal.

Lisa Hastilow

Lisa Hastilow

The Course:

Birmingham City University was the best university for what I wanted to study to become a property surveyor. The work was really great and I really enjoyed learning the theory, especially the law. I was fortunate enough to win the regional Women in Property award in 2007 and was featured in the Property Week industry journal and the local newspaper.

The University:

I loved the course, the lecturers and the general atmosphere, and I made some great friends who I regularly keep in touch with. The work was hard but extremely rewarding. I always felt completely at ease in the campus and I always felt that if I needed any help regarding anything at all, there were people I could go and talk to who would listen and care.

The City:

The night life is great! There's lots to do and see, and even though I lived at home during my three years, I regularly stayed with friends, which was great fun. Birmingham is a great city and I really felt like I was in the thick of the excitement and activity, which was a real buzz.

The Individual:

I've been working for a leading global property advisor and surveying practice called Jones Lang LaSalle since September 2008 and have recently moved departments into Investor Property Management, which I love. The work is so varied and enjoyable. I will be classed as a trainee surveyor until I qualify as a Member of the RICS by sitting my Assessment of Professional Competence in two years' time.

Karolina Mucha

Property student Karolina has been delighted to find just how many local movers and shakers in the property industry learned their skills here at the University…

“I was recently invited to attend a networking event,” says Karolina, “where many of the property professionals from the local area gathered to discuss various aspects of the property industry. It was with great pleasure that I realised, after talking to several attendees of the event, that the majority of them studied at and graduated from Birmingham City University. After graduating, they all pursued a very successful career in the property industry and now enjoy a strong position within the property sector.”

It’s a discovery that’s filled Karolina with confidence – both in the quality of her education and in her prospects. Our alumni network is a fantastic way to make valuable contacts and so many of our graduates are keen to help the next generation of students learn and develop. “This experience made me feel proud of being a student at the Birmingham City University,” says Karolina. “I feel now that after I graduate I have good prospects in pursuing a successful career in the property industry.”

Rachel Hill

Ambitious Rachel Hill made the most of her 12-month sandwich placement – before graduating with first class honours. Her work placement not only equipped her with the hands-on experience to impress employers, but also counted towards a valuable professional qualification.

A head start with RICS accreditation

Rachel started as a Graduate Surveyor at GVA in 2008. After qualifying as a RICS member in May 2009, she’s now a Chartered Surveyor within the National Markets – Land and Development team. Rachel believes that the RICS-accredited course’s practical emphasis – both in scenario-based coursework and her placement - was a key factor in her success. “It prepared me for the challenges of working in private practice as a graduate,” she says.

A head start with real work experience

Rachel’s work placement was a great help in completing her final year – and in gaining her exceptional marks. “I had the benefit of the additional experience of working within the industry and understanding how the skills learnt could be put into practice in the workplace,” says Rachel.

A head start with professional certification

It’s also been the perfect way to show employers what she’s made of. Rachel was able to work towards her Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) before completing her degree, as the placement experience counted towards the first 12 months of her APC diary. “Being able to show to prospective employers that I had completed the first year of my APC and had experience in the industry also put me in good stead for graduate jobs once I had completed my degree,” she says.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.


Prospective students from the UK or EU
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
  • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.


For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).

Further Information

For general enquiries, please contact Birmingham School of the Built Environment as follows:

Birmingham School of the Built Environment
Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment
Birmingham City University
Millennium Point
Curzon Street
B4 7XG

Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5400
Email: BSBE or TEE

If you haven't already, visit the Birmingham School of the Built Environment website for more information.