Postgraduate taught 

Real Estate MSc

Urban Studies Researching and the Dissertation URBAN5119

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • 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
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course seeks to develop the research skills necessary for real estate, housing and planning students to undertake a master's dissertation. It will enable students to think critically about social science research methodologies and methods, and develop the skills necessary to design a research project, undertake quantitative and qualitative data collection and conduct meaningful data analysis


In support of the dissertation process, six three hour sessions will be run. Three sessions running over three consecutive weeks towards the end of Semester 1, helping students develop their research topics and framing; followed by three sessions near the start of Semester 2 in support of developing their understanding and application of research methods.  Each session will consist of a lecture (1 hour) and a workshop (2 hours).

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






Students submit a research proposal for their planned dissertations. This work will be a maximum of 2,500 words and contain details of their research problem and design, justification for their chosen methodology and methods and a review of key theories and literature that relate to the approach they propose to take.

Course Aims

The purpose of this course is to equip real estate, housing and planning students to undertake a master's dissertation, and not to provide the same level of grounding in research methods as the Graduate School courses. In doing so, it aims to:

provide guidance on how to design, manage and implement a research project;

explain and differentiate the different research philosophies and methodologies that exist within the social sciences.

introduce students to the qualitative and quantitative research methods commonly employed in social research; and

provide students with an opportunity to develop a research proposal and plan out the quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques they will use in their dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ appreciate the nature and purpose of research in real estate, housing, planning and urban and public policy;

■ understand the processes and methods involved in the collection, integration, assimilation and handling of information sufficient for undertaking an MSc level dissertation;

■ understand the existence of different traditions of thought in philosophy, science and social science;

■ understand the relationships between different methodological approaches and methods;

■ appreciate the importance of appropriately framing a research problem;

■ demonstrate the research design skills required in the specification and development of a research problem; and

■ apply basic qualitative and quantitative research methods skills.

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, MSc City Planning & Real estate Development, MSc International Real Estate & Management and MSc Real Estate is D3 or above.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications although attendance is a requirement for students on PG Dip/MSc Housing Studies.