Postgraduate Factfile: Commercial Property Development MSc

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Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full Time (1 year) & Part Time (2 years)
Start date: September

  • Internationally recognised research carried out by our Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute
  • Professionally accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • Part-time option for students already in employment
  • Graduates from the course will additionally be eligible for consideration for membership of the IRRV (The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuers)
  • Career opportunities in leading UK and international surveying firms, property companies, developers and public bodies

Course overview

This programme is ideal if you are interested in working in the property sector, with a particular focus on the acquisition, development and valuation of land and buildings.

This master’s degree will develop your ability to think analytically, yet creatively, at a strategic level in the context of the commercial built environment. The programme has a strong commercial focus, and will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills to formulate design and evaluate development proposals.

The course has been developed in partnership with principal surveying practices and enjoys established links with employers in both the private and public sector, ensuring that it is responsive to the changing needs of industry, government, local communities and professional practice. It delivers not only a comprehensive academic knowledge base but the essential professional and transferable skills required by employers.

The programme has a high standing both academically and professionally and the quality of the programme is recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who have selected LJMU as a ‘partnering establishment’ for accreditation purposes. This means you will enjoy full exemption (excepting the Assessment of Professional Competence) from the RICS educational requirements after graduating with an MSc in Commercial Property Development, and you will be eligible for direct entrance on to the RICS APC professional training programme.

A diploma or a certificate in Commercial Property Development is an available award for anyone not wishing to complete the full Masters programme or as a fall back award. These awards, however, do not provide full exemption from the RICS educational requirements and do not entitle the graduate to enrol for the Assessment of Professional Competence.

The School of the Built Environment is recognised as a leading contributor of applied property based research and continued professional development blending traditional built environment fields of research with innovative and highly advanced areas of property and development.  The Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Research Centre (BEST) has been awarded Institute status in recognition of its outstanding work and is supported internationally by the EU, UK and USA Ministry of Defence, Carbon Trust and Technology Strategy Board as well as by industrial partners including United Utilities, NHS, Tarmac and Taylor Woodrow.

The School also enjoys a strong record in business partnering with several local, national and international organisations, particularly through the DTI Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme. These projects are aimed at adding value to the business through the delivery of innovative solutions and the provision of a creative working environment.

Modules of the Programme

The programme is delivered over three semesters but the formal taught element concludes at the end of the second semester and only the dissertation module runs into the third semester.  The first two semesters contain six taught modules each and the dissertation module spans the last two semesters of the programme. 

The following is a breakdown of the modules (offered subject to availability):

Semester One

  • Valuations
  • Law
  • Planning Systems and Agencies
  • The Development Process
  • The Professional Project
  • Research Methods

Semester Two

  • Valuations
  • Law
  • Planning Systems and Agencies
  • The Development Process
  • The Professional Project
  • Design in the Built Environment

Semester Three

  • Dissertation (commences in Semester Two)

The programme has been designed with three main concepts: academic competence, technical understanding and commercial awareness.  These concepts underlie the programme content, structure and mix.

Valuations: In semester one this module is designed to introduce the student to the concept of value and property pricing techniques.  It examines conventional approaches to valuation methodology and interacts with other modules such as Law and Planning.  In semester two the module critically develops the subject of valuations and discusses contemporary approaches to the valuation of commercial property including an examination of statutory influence on valuation.

Law: This module takes the student from basic land law including the principles of contract and tort to landlord and tenant law with an examination of the legislative background to landlord and tenant relationship.

Planning Systems and Agencies: Introduces the student to the UK planning system and legislation but also studies urban land policies that shape and develop land use in England and Wales.

Professional Project: A multi-discipline project undertaken by the CPM students but in a team environment with other property based post graduates such as developers and planners.  The focus can be commercial management, development, investment or a mixture of all.

Research Methods: A first semester module to assist with the Dissertation module as it concentrates on all aspects of research styles, literature review preparation, data collection, data analysis and statistical processes.

Dissertation: An original piece of research work undertaken by the students over a two semester period with counselling and supervision from staff. The work is in the region of 18,000 words and should focus on an aspect of the property world related to the programme.

The Development Process: A fundamental module to the understanding of commercial development.  It takes the student from initial site appraisal, development choice/risk analysis, contracts and funding to letting and disposal.

Design in the Built Environment: A critical examination of design criteria and the development process, including layout design, site/building design constraints and public realm considerations.

The programme has been designed to provide students with the essential knowledge and skills to enable them to understand how a Commercial Property Developer contributes to the development, alteration and refurbishment of commercial property and the underlying financial and investment strategy.  This provides an excellent basis for the development of a career within the surveying profession at the strategic end of the spectrum of activity.

What do past and present students say about the course?

“The course was cleverly structured throughout and the modules were structured to reflect up-to-date changes and realistic scenarios within the commercial property field. All of the tutors are very approachable and their commitment to teaching as well as their expertise in the commercial property field is clear.”
Andrew White, MSc Commercial Property Development graduate

Introduction to the School

The School of the Built Environment delivers an exciting range of professionally-accredited postgraduate programmes designed to develop innovative and creative professionals equipped to react to the challenges of the modern global built environment.

Our portfolio of programmes includes courses for experienced practitioners who want to enhance or refocus their skills to secure promotion or enter a new area within this fascinating profession. We also run courses specifically designed to equip aspiring entrants to the sector with the skills and competencies they need to succeed.

Whatever your ambitions are for the future, our postgraduate qualifications will ensure you enjoy excellent career prospects both in the UK and internationally and enable you to provide ‘real world’ solutions to the challenges of sustainable global development.

World-class research

The School of the Built Environment is recognised as one of the UK’s leading research departments for built environment and sustainability research and we are ranked in the top 15 higher education institutions working in this field.

Around 70% of all research carried out by our Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute is judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. This work, combined with our extensive links with professional bodies and employers, ensures that all of our postgraduate degrees are industry-focused, globally relevant and at the forefront of knowledge development in this field.

To find out more about the School of the Built Environment read our brochure or go to:

Other related courses

MSc Commercial Property Management

Employment and careers

Many graduates have found employment with leading UK and international surveying firms, property companies, developers and public bodies. Many employers can offer you excellent positions with the opportunity to complete the full range of training required for the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence. After qualifying professionally you may have the opportunity to become a partner in an established surveying practice or go on to run your own practice.

Not all graduates enter the surveying profession directly, but with their property expertise have followed a different career path into the large accountancy companies, law firms, banking and insurance.  The knowledge and skills our graduates offer has been seen as a major benefit to the overall service provided by these non-surveying companies.

As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.

LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.

Map of UK

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements


6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKBA Purposes)

Entry requirements

An Honours degree with a minimum 2.1 classification from an approved university or a degree from a university together with such relevant professional experience as deemed appropriate by the School. 

Non-UK applicants will be expected to have demonstrated competence in English language equivalent to a minimum of IELTS 6.5. Applicants who have studied and successfully achieved a UK degree within 24 months of the start of the MSc are exempt from this requirement.

Fees information

Tuition fees for full-time home and EU students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £5,000.00
Part time fees are charged by the number of credits you are registered for per annum, at a rate of £28.00 per credit.
Tuition fees for International students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £12,000.00
Students residing in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are classified as international students for fee purposes.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please talk to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible:, 0151 0151 231 3153/3154.

Sources of funding

LJMU Alumni Award

Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 15% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).  Please go to for more details.

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. For further details, go to:  

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre ( For further details, go to:   

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website ( can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships/ summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. Go to for more details.

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Technology and Environment on:
tel: 0151 231 2777
fax: 0151 231 2879
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090

Please apply via the online application form

LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.

International students

LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.

Page last modified by Marketing and Corporate Communications on 22 September 2014.
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