Development Economics URBAN5082

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course explores how real estate value is created and appraised in the development sector. This involves an integrated understanding of how law, economics, professional practice and public policy help shape real estate value. Property rights and concepts of land ownership are introduced and methods of development appraisal are examined in depth.


Classes to run in Semester 1 and delivered in 3 hourly blocks, once per week, over 6 consecutive weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:

Development Process

Excluded Courses

Development Appraisal for Real Estate Surveyors (URBAN5???)





The course will be formally assessed (100%) by a report, produced as the output from a development appraisal project. The report should contain a 2,500 words with appraisal calculations, sensitivity analysis/scenario testing and disposal strategy included in the appendices.


This is an applied assessment with relatively limited background reading, as typical of an academic essay. Therefore, the calculations are in addition to the 2,500 words but substitute for a significant proportion of the standard reading requirement.

Course Aims

This course aims to build on the material covered in the Semester 1 course, Development Process. It seeks to explore how real estate value can be created by development activity and how it is appraised and exploited in the development sector. This involves an integrated understanding of how law, economics, finance, professional practice and planning policy help shape real estate value.  Property rights and concepts of land ownership are introduced and development appraisal methods are examined in depth. The course concludes by applying the development appraisal principles and techniques in a real life mock development project.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

In accordance with the specific and evidenced competency requirements of the accreditation body (RTPI), by the end of this course students will be able to:

■ evaluate the needs of clients, collect and collate data, and competently apply data analysis skills;

■ understand and apply the appropriate UK and international standards and guidance relating to the measurement of property, and fully understand the basis on which measurements should be undertaken for different property types in the development appraisal process;

■ appreciate the limitations associated with working from plans and drawings;

■ explain and critically analyse the factors that influence property values, and how these can be shaped by local, national and international economic forces;

■ critically debate the importance of time and resources issues in the development process (especially human & financial resources);

■ understand and apply the mathematical principles underpinning development appraisals;

■ recognise the different mechanism that can be used to finance development activity and illustrate the links between development viability and financing;

■ explain the legislation for acquiring and disposing of land and buildings;

■ appreciate how real estate value can influence, and be influenced by land, planning and urban policies;

■ contribute to the debate on development viability and planning policy;

■ apply residual development appraisals to solve simple development related problems;

■ construct and develop a DCF appraisal and undertake sensitivity analyses and scenario testing on Excel; and

■ undertake a feasibility report, and prepare and present a development appraisal report.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc City Planning is D3 or above.