Taught course

Real Estate and Planning

Heriot-Watt University · School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Entry requirements

A good (minimum 2nd class) honours degree in a relevant discipline and/or full membership of a relevant professional institution. Equivalent UK/overseas qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This programme provides the foundation, knowledge and skills needed to work as development surveyor or planner. On completion you will be able to work either in the public or private sectors advising on the complexities of property development to occupiers, investors, developers and planning authorities.

The programme develops individual’s skills to allow them to understand the complex interactions and uncertainties of the development process. It provides the essential knowledge components of economics, valuation, planning, law and regeneration and sustainability principles. You gain an appreciation of the skills and tasks inherent in development projects including community participation, satisfying the statutory planning considerations, undertaking the necessary financial appraisals, and achieving funding to make it happen.

On completion of this programme graduates will be able to have a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the property market context and the nature and theory of spatial planning and sustainable development.

Graduates will be able to:

  • draw on a wide perspective to offer a holistic approach to sustainable development
  • be ready and eligible to undertake the Assessment of Professional Competence of both the RICS and RTPI
  • demonstrate sophisticated intellectual and research skills proficient for a professional career
  • evaluate complex problems and formulate solutions associated with planning and development issues
  • appreciate the values, ethics, responsibilities, and rules governing professional membership of the RICS and RTPI, and the need for professional integrity when advising clients and the public
  • have a respect for diversity and an appreciation of social inclusion as a goal of planning
  • have an awareness of the role that values and attitudes play in managing change in the built environment
  • have an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on the range of disciplines that contribute to the programme and within the School of the Built Environment.

The course is suitable for graduates with an interest in pursuing a career as a planner or as a chartered surveyor with a focus on commercial or residential property valuation, development, management or investment.

The MSc stream of the course has professional accreditation from both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Heriot-Watt University is a leading centre for the education of planners and of commercial and residential property professionals in the UK.

This programme can be studied full-time and on a part-time basis at our Edinburgh Campus or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. As an IDL student you will not be required to attend any lectures, tutorials or other events at any of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses.

Information for international students

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

Fees and funding

UK students
refer to website
International students
refer to website

Please visit our Scholarships web pages for more information on scholarships and funding.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24-84 months
full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
21 months
distance learning
24-84 months
full time
9 months

Course contact details

Colin Elliot
+44 (0)131 451 4627