Real Estate - BSc (Hons)
Want to enter the exciting world of property? Discover our BSc (Hons) Real Estate course. This degree is for you if you are interested in the study of the built environment and in the acquisition, disposal, management and valuation of land and buildings....
Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.
Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Want to enter the exciting world of property? Discover our BSc (Hons) Real Estate course. This degree is for you if you are interested in the study of the built environment and in the acquisition, disposal, management and valuation of land and buildings.
This real estate course has been developed in the UK in accordance with the requirements of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the leading international professional body for surveying, our course meets the needs of potential employers in the public, private and third sectors. You will complete your undergraduate degree with the most current and relevant insights.
What's covered in this course?
You will gain a detailed understanding of real estate, alongside learning to make an expert analysis of the processes of its ownership, development, occupation, valuation and management. You’ll also examine economics and finance, property valuation and management, development, construction, urban planning and law, ensuring you are equipped with the attributes you’ll need for a successful career.
The course integrates technological, financial, legal and management issues, and you will connect the theories and practice of real estate to a range of real-life case studies, helping you understand the complex world of property.
We will prepare you for a career in real estate, developing your collaborative skills and ensuring you are not only able to practise effectively within the global real estate industry, but that you are also sensitive to the needs of the diverse cultures that you come into contact with in your work.
Especially relevant for the would-be chartered surveyor, this course offers a detailed study of the built environment alongside an expert analysis of the acquisition, disposal, management and valuation of land and buildings.
Benefiting from our staff's close links with industry, the course thoroughly prepares you for the enormously varied work of a general practice surveyor.
Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
This course is accredited by:
Why Choose Us?
- Accredited course - Fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which ensures our course remains fresh and relevant, as well as providing key industry links and insight.
- Employable Graduates - Our graduates have progressed into roles with companies such as; IP Global, Lambert Smith Hampton, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield. Read Tsvetomira’s story.
- A leading provider – We are ranked 6th in the UK for courses in Land and Property Management (The Complete University Guide, 2020).
- State-of-the-art facilities -You'll be studying at Millennium Point, with access to £6.5 million facilities. You will also benefit from high quality equipment and regular site visits which give you a close-up view of professional practice and an industry perspective on your studies.
- Scholarships - You might be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 towards your degree, through the Built Environment Scholarship. You may also be able to gain funding through our travel scholarship scheme.
- High course satisfaction - We scored 90.9 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy||
|Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2||
|Key Skills level 2||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
- Study Year £9,250
- Placement Year £1,650
Professional Placement Fees
Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.
- Part Time
- 5 years
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,500 per year
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Free student membership to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is provided on this course.
Free access to industry software such as CoStar, EGi and iSurv to keep up-to-date with latest trends and news.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.
Placement expenses (optional)
If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Field trips (optional)
This course may involve local site visits relating to essential module coursework where you would pay transport costs to and from the site. This course may also include the option of additional trips to complement your studies; these would be at extra cost.
Guidance for UK students
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
Applying through UCAS
Register with UCAS
Login to UCAS
Complete your details
Select your course
Write a personal statement
Get a reference
Pay your application fee
Send UCAS your application
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
2) Through a country representative
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
3) Through UCAS
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
School or college experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state, etc. influence the development of the built and natural environment.
Broader forces also influence development processes. This module therefore encourages you to explore how Politics, Economy, Society, Technology, Law and the Environment (PESTLE) all shape the built and natural environment. This module also offers an opportunity not only to look at past and current trends, but potential future trends that influence development, including significant issues such as governance, resource availability and climate change; and a chance to learn how development processes occur at different spatial scales and contexts.
Valuation is a crucial skill across the built environment and is core to many professional pathways.
This module introduces the theory of valuation as a set of principles, financial mathematics, methods and techniques employed for identifying and understanding economic concepts of value and worth in a property context.
This module is delivered to all of the undergraduate programmes in the built environment disciplines and provides you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your professional career.
It introduces you to the structure and processes of the English legal system. This is the essential foundation to the legal skills necessary for the provision of sound advice to your clients/colleagues later in your professional career; and this underpins all of the built environment professions. The module also helps all the undergraduate built environment students to understand the importance of and provides an overview of the duties of all persons involved in construction projects with regard to health, safety and wellbeing.
This module is unique to the BSc Real Estate programme.
As a key component of the built environment, real estate forms a significant part of the market economy. Knowledge of the property markets across different sectors and the drivers of space, property and capital markets will be introduced. Market structures, concepts and determinants will provide an increased awareness of property fundamentals that make property an attractive and challenging asset class.
This module introduces, for all of the built environment professions, a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. It provides you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction. We use the example of low rise residential construction as it is relatively straightforward and allows us to introduce and explore these issues appropriately.
In particular, you will be introduced to everyday materials, construction methods, building services Building Regulation and Health, Safety and Welfare legislation. You will gain an insight into the properties of materials and the basic scientific principles that apply to them. The module will focus on construction materials in general and how they can be used in creating a construction element and/or component (e.g. a floor, an external wall, a roof). You will develop the ability to identify, describe and visualise these materials in terms of types, dimension, size and weight.
Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, developing and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings and structures function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties impact construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will therefore enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures. It also gives you the opportunity to produce a professional cv and related documents which you will share with industry on your assessment day.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module seeks to appraise the principal ways of managing the physical property from the perspective of operational asset management for a variety of property sectors. Property asset management is one of the core functions of a real estate professional. In addition the module will explains the principles of corporate (occupier) property management.
The aim of this module is to enable you to apply knowledge gained in different property subject areas to conceptualise and implement programmes for operational and asset management purposes. The module also explores space demand drivers and contemporary issues in sustainability and property accountancy which are consistent with the programme’s philosophy of providing would be Chartered Surveyors with the technical knowledge and understanding required by professional bodies such as the RICS. Furthermore, the module will enable you to develop critical investigation skills in solving problems in a professional context.
Advanced Valuation Methods 20 credits
This module provides an opportunity for you to develop and apply research skills in a property development, planning and real estate context. The module is an introduction into some of the data, techniques and approaches required to explore social, economic, environmental and technological change in a built environment context.
This module critically discusses and applies the socio-economic, historical, environmental and governance context that shapes the design and use of buildings and structures to a real life development project. We encourage and support you to develop and apply a range of research techniques to evaluate design, costs, benefits and values of ‘good’ design; how to appraise the implications of different approaches to implementation, on-going use, management and quality of place; and produce a practice-based piece of work delivering a range of benefits to different users and communities.
The module is therefore relevant to all of the professions active in creating managing the built environment.
The module covers the basic requirements for property professionals engaged with the existing built environment to appreciate varying needs to clients in relation to property, to identify methods of construction, appraise the condition of a building, and make recommendations to achieve client’s aims. The module is designed to give you the opportunity for practical application of your learning to a relevant case study.
This module introduces you to the nature of real property and the legal framework that regulates its acquisition, disposal, use, occupation and management. Much of what is covered is designed to relate to issues that may be met in professional practice and explain the way in which the law will impact your upon day-to-day activities and decisions. Problem-based study aims to develop general competencies based on the kinds of abilities and skills required of a professional practitioner. Professional work involves the application of knowledge within a specific situation; teaching is often via workshops which therefore provide a context in which problems can be understood and appropriate solutions devised. By devising solutions to these problems, you will learn to use the knowledge which has been obtained in pursuance of these objectives.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The module will introduce you to the various aspects of marketing communications tools from initial analysis of the property and market through to developing an expanding range of promotional and negotiation techniques. It will explore the use of all elements of the promotion mix with particular reference to the estate agency sector and the wider property business industries. This module will cover the main areas of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, professional ethics and direct marketing. Attention is also given to new areas of increasing relevance such as product placement, electronic print and social media.
Valuation is central to the work of the professional real estate surveyor. Valuation expertise is used in a wide range of real estate contexts including investment, asset management, property development and maintenance management.
This module is designed to further develop your valuation knowledge and skills and build on your previous learning in the Level 4 and Level 5 valuation modules. The module presents a series of true to life applications and encourages you to consider the wide range of purposes behind valuations.
This module aims to provide you with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to facilitate your development into a leading real estate professional.
Property fund management is a relatively new core competence for the real estate and development (chartered surveyor) professional. It forms an important sector sitting above the physical property asset management layer. Accordingly, a comprehensive grounding in the principles and practice of property investment and finance is essential for this sector.
The module introduces and develops the concept and practice of property fund management in relation to real world market activity and includes a consideration of property finance. This gives you an increasing awareness of the role of property as an investment asset class, its use as an investment and the means of financing property investments and developments. In particular, it emphasises both theoretical and analytical aspects of property decision making in the context of property portfolios formation and management.
This module will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. Within an applied socially responsive framework, you will examine a range of issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial/development appraisal, design technology, legal and regulatory, health and safety etc. These will be covered in conjunction with other professional courses or your own discipline as appropriate, given that all built environment professions and recent reports such as the Farrell Review place increasing stress on interdisciplinary understanding and working.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.
In your first year, you’ll be introduced to the built environment, learning about building technology and innovation, valuation and economics, and the fundamentals of property law.
In year two, you will build on your previous learning and learn about development, planning and data management, as well as enhancing your skills in property management.
For your final year, you will study more detailed and complex valuation, property investment and corporate property management, supporting your final research project and dissertation.
Assessment takes the form of unseen written examinations, essays, written assignments, posters, oral presentations and an e-portfolio, as well as workshops, online quizzes and more. Learning on the course will come from classroom sessions such as lectures, workshops and small group discussions.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, please take a look at the information detailed on the course overview PDF document on this page.
Student stories – 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.
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.
This course is accredited by the following organisations:
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
The course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Successful completion of the course will lead to Professional Membership after the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
Enhancing your employability skills
We are committed to practice-led learning and teaching, ensuring that you get vital experience of the world of work through relevant activities. These could include voluntary work, live projects, problem solving, case studies, site visits and opportunities to interact with visiting professionals.
The University also has its Graduate+ programme, which is an extracurricular awards framework that will enhance the subject-based skills you’ll develop on the course with broader employability skills. Graduate+ will help you with CV writing, crafting personal statements and interview techniques, as well as helping you to source jobs.
Our excellent links with industry employers provide opportunities for voluntary work placements and permanent career opportunities.
Students have been found internships or work placements at companies such as CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, GVA, Knight Frank and Savills.
The opportunities with companies such as Birmingham-based Willmott Dixon, a leading independent construction and property company, have increased confidence, ability and skills.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
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 international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
Facilities and Staff
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. We ensure that you are equipped to participate fully and possessed with the equipment needed to support your studies.
Computer Assisted Taking Off (CATO)
In offices today, much of the pen and paper approach to quantity surveying has been replaced by the use of specialised software systems. Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.
Computer Assisted Design (CAD)
You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as:
- Measuring tapes
A computer-generated virtual site
The use of a virtual building site will help you to appreciate the surroundings of a typical construction site and experience some of the challenges you will face in practice.
Professor David Higgins
Professor of Real Estate
Dr David Higgins is the Professor of Real Estate, Birmingham City University and past Visiting Professor, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Xiamen University, China. David has worked in both industry and academia in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and China. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has strong industry links.
Prior to academia, David worked in the property industry including Colliers International, Bayleys Real Estate, Jones Lang LaSalle and Tyndall Property Fund Management. For the past five years, David’s scholarly research included property market performance and strategies, and new concepts of property risk. Funded research covered property market structures, property finance and social housing covering development and performance challenges.More about David
Mr Timothy Lee
Tim ran his own property management and estate agency firm on the Isle of Wight for over ten years, during this time he completed his MSc in Real Estate Surveying via distance learning at Northumbria University. He went on to Reading University where he obtained his PhD in domestic energy efficiency.More about Timothy
Amanda is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and teaches on post-graduate and undergraduate programmes. Her teaching experience is supported by 2:1 law degree (specialising in Planning and Environmental Law), a post-graduate professional qualification (Legal Practice Course), along with 15 years relevant practical experience with a Local Planning Authority in their Legal and Development Control Sections.More about Amanda