City Planning & Real Estate Development MSc

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This programme will deliver a highly regarded professional education in city planning and real estate development. It has been developed in close consultation with the relevant professional, policy and business communities and is intended to provide an intensive fast-track entry to a professional career.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • If you want to establish a career as a chartered town planner and/or chartered surveyor, this programme is designed for you.
  • The programme is professionally accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
  • There is significant input from industry to our teaching programme, including teaching on some courses, guest lectures and seminars. There are also informal opportunities to meet people from industry at open events and recruitment presentations. We will also support you to arrange professional work placements.

Programme structure

You will take a series of core courses and undertake a dissertation or a major project in planning and real estate development.

Core courses provide you with a grounding in core knowledge and skills required of planners and surveyors working within the planning and development field. Subjects covered include planning and real estate development processes, real estate economics, valuation and development appraisal, spatial planning strategies.

Core courses

  • Contemporary planning systems
  • Designing places
  • Development economics
  • Development process
  • Global cities
  • Governance and markets
  • Professional practices, ethics and management
  • Spatial planning strategies
  • Real estate markets
  • Real estate valuation and appraisal.

Courses are assessed by a mix of continuous methods to enable you to develop a suitable balance of planning and real estate development competencies. They will involve you attending lectures, seminars and tutorials and taking part in project, IT lab, field and team work.

Background and aims

The MSc in City Planning & Real Estate Development is intended to prepare students for a career as a chartered town planner and/or chartered surveyor, as a member of the RTPI and/or the Planning and Development Professional Group of the RICS.

"These degree programmes recognise that the real estate sector is now an integral part of a sophisticated and diverse business community and will ensure that the best talent, with the right skills, is available to the property industry." 
Douglas Smith, Chairman of CB Richard Ellis Scotland

It is now one of eight MSc degrees taught within the Real Estate, Planning and Regeneration (REPR) MSc Programme. These innovative programmes were initially launched in September 2006 by Urban Studies, which is widely recognised as one of Europe's leading centres of urban research, following close consultation with the relevant professional, policy and business communities and has been widely welcomed by leading professions in the field. It is intended to provide an intensive fast-track entry to professional qualifications for well-motivated, high-quality postgraduate students.

Alongside the main programme we also offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Real Estate and Postgraduate Certificate in Spatial Planning, primarily for CPD students. 

What our students say

Divya Hemantharaj, India (2014-15)

 Divya Hemantharaj, MSc in City Planning & Real Estate Development, 2015'I chose Glasgow mainly because it was not one of the major cities like London; I wanted a quieter, but yet a good university, in a city with a student population and suited my budget and living expenses. The University of Glasgow not only fitted right into the category but also offered me an MSc programme that no other university had elsewhere. I completed my Bachelors of Architecture and worked for a year as a junior architect in Bangalore, India. This background mainly influenced me to take up the joint programme of City Planning and Real Estate. City planning offered the opportunity to gain more knowledge of the policies and strategies that went into the development of a place and public related issues. Real estate was equally important to me as I wanted to gain knowledge about the factors and skills that were property related. Working for a year after my bachelors’ degree helped me gain interest and the motivation to learn more in this related field.


The best things about my programme was the way it was organised. Reading lists were given well ahead of courses and their related coursework, the presentations for the coming up classes would be uploaded so that we could prepare before attending the lectures. I got to be part of two groups during the programme, it taught me positives and negatives of dealing with people from different backgrounds and also cultures (since we had a broad mix of international students during the year).

Spatial planning strategies was a core course for planners; again it gave me a comprehensive insight of what I would be dealing with when I move into practice: time management, workability, presentation & communication skills. The group work was one of the best things for me. This was distinctive from other courses because the whole marking weightage depended on how well we performed as a team. The appraisal and development of a live site and current conditions helped a lot, rather than having hypothetically sites that were sometimes used in my previous architecture courses. The tutorials at the end of the coursework were of real help.

Glasgow was one of the best experiences of my life. The student village atmosphere helped me to get comfortable and quickly settled. This was important to me since it was my first time alone away from home. There were facilities for student life, such as supermarkets and shopping. I lived in student accommodation which was very well maintained and assistance was on hand and there were many social events and gatherings for newcomers to get to know each other. Not to forget the people as well, Glasgow was friendly, safe and less populated than many other cities.'

Patricia Kerr, UK (2013-14)

'I chose the University of Glasgow as I wanted the opportunity to be taught by academics and professionals who had an excellent reputation for expertise in their field. The programme, by being jointly accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has allowed me to apply for a wide variety of positions. Being a taught programme, it also offered real hands-on teaching and knowledge sharing as well as extensive interaction with many students from all over the world.  It can give you a very strong knowledge-base from which to launch a career in either planning or real estate and this flexibility can be a real benefit when job hunting. I had previously studied law and my job prior to starting my master was as a tax adviser with a large accountancy firm.


I liked that the courses were a mixture of planning and real estate subjects as this kept it diverse and interesting and helped to show the interactions between the two topics. I really enjoyed the design and drawing aspect of the planning subjects and the technical and numerical features of the real estate topics. Being able to go out on site visits to actually view first-hand the areas and sites on which our assignment work would be based was really helpful and gave a real perspective on what we were doing.

The courses were really practical, rather than just theoretical, so I gained a lot of skills which will hopefully be useful in the future. Even if you think you can’t draw, you will learn techniques and easy methods which anyone can master to produce professional-looking project work. Although I had some experience of using spreadsheets I was able to really extend my skills and produce complex appraisals as the use of equations and formulae is taught step by step.

Having lived in Glasgow most of my life I was well aware of how much it has to offer. It is a fantastically vibrant city and the West End near the University offers a particularly good social scene. The city centre offers the best shopping outside of London but it is compact so you get everything within easy reach. There are plenty of museums, parks and entertainment venues around the city and a particularly strong music scene.'

‌Margarita Grigorova, Bulgaria (2014-15)

'With a degree in Economics of Real Estate from Bulgaria, I wished to enhance my future career prospects by pursuing a higher-level qualification at a prestigious university abroad. The University of Glasgow, widely recognized as one of the top UK universities for real estate and planning courses, seemed like the best choice for me. The longstanding academic reputation of the university as one of the oldest educational establishments in the UK, often ranked in the top 100 universities globally, influenced my decision significantly as a factor held in high regard by potential graduate employers. Being selected for one of the prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards was a great honour as well and helped make high-quality education much more affordable.


I chose the programme to build on my previous education and also gain an insight into the planning aspects of the property development process, comprehensive understanding of which I believe is extremely important for a successful career in the industry. The programme is fully accredited by two leading UK and worldwide professional bodies - the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), which provides a wide range of career paths to choose from and a fast-track entry to obtaining chartered status as a surveyor or a town planner.

The programme attracts students with diverse backgrounds from all over the world, great not only for expanding your cultural horizons, but also for developing the good communication and social skills that are essential in the workplace as well as sought after by employers. It was delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, group discussions, field visits and many formal and informal events providing links with practitioners and networking opportunities. The course was very intensive and challenging at times, involving long hours in the library and late night essay writing. However, it was also a very rewarding, offering a great learning experience and sense of achievement. The academic staff are not only great and inspiring professionals, but also very friendly and responsive, willing to help and provide constructive feedback at all times.

As for Glasgow, despite the cold weather, I received a very warm welcome and in my eyes Glasgow has lived up to its reputation as the friendliest city in the UK. It is a city with a very distinctive character. As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow has a lot to offer in terms of culture, entertainment, recreation, shopping etc. There is really something for everyone and you will never be bored. For me, the past year in Glasgow has been very eventful, marked by a lot of new and exciting experiences. Overall, I have truly enjoyed my time here and I would highly recommend the University of Glasgow and this programme t to everyone who is looking for top-quality higher level education and a great experience.'

‌Becki Cox, UK (2013-14)

'The programme description made the claim of taking people from no background in the subject to professional standard in a year, which I was quite sceptical about. Having no background in planning whatsoever, I never believed I would be capable of actually working as a planner by the end of the programme, but actually, that has proved to be the case for me! I had a fairly eclectic mix of experiences prior to starting. What I cared about was social justice issues and equality, but increasingly also issues concerning the urban environment. Planning is so fantastically broad and varied in terms of what you need to know and deal with, that it suits my ‘jack of all trades’ nature well.


For me, with no background in the subject, I appreciated the breadth of courses and learning that were offered. I also really enjoyed the mix of people – we all had different academic and professional backgrounds, so we all brought different elements to the lectures. The mix of nationalities (something like 20 different countries) was also fascinating, both socially and from an academic perspective. The programme is distinctive as it provides the opportunity to study a joint planning and real estate course accredited by the RTPI. As far as I’m aware, this programme is unique, and in terms of going into professional planning, it ticks a lot of boxes.

As a city, Glasgow is a wonderful place to live. As a place to study planning, I can’t think of anywhere more exciting or with more relevant history and current activity than Glasgow. Its chequered history in terms of the urban environment is very apparent now, but that makes it all the more interesting to study. The university is in a beautiful setting and close to the city centre.

The teaching staff are approachable and always willing to help. It is understood that people are coming from different backgrounds with different levels of knowledge. The courses offer a good mixture of theoretical teaching with a broad international context but also very practically rooted in the city itself, so you really feel that you ‘know’ areas of Glasgow. I really enjoyed the way that the course enabled me to apply what I was learning on a daily basis, just by walking through the city.

I am now working as a Strategic Planning Assistant with a Borough Council in England. I think I was lucky, but being willing to move where the work is opens up many more options.  It was undoubtedly the course as a foundation that secured me this job but I was also proactive about getting various work experience placements, which I could fit around studying. I found organisations were very willing to take me on for short periods of time. If you’re like me with no background in planning, it is worth getting some extra experience to complement the programme.'


Professional accreditation is important because it means that graduates need complete only the Assessment of Professional Competence for the relevant profession in order to obtain chartered status as MRICS and/or MRTPI.

We are pleased to announce that this programme is professionally accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Career prospects

As a graduate you will be in possession of an MSc degree recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). You can develop your career as a chartered town planner, chartered surveyor, or both.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2017

You should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent (eg, a GPA of 3.0 or above) in a relevant degree. Students will be considered from a variety of backgrounds such as social sciences, arts and humanities in addition to more quantitative subjects (e.g. engineering and maths).  Applicants with a lower second Honours degree may be accepted, if warranted by strong references and/or relevant work experience.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7700
Part time 20 credits£856
Full time fee£16000

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
  • A two-page personal statement highlighting:
    • How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
    • Why you want to study this programme
    • How you think this programme will help you in your future career development

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now