BSc (Hons) Property Development - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Property Development

UCAS codeN232

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Become a competent property developer in today’s fast-paced construction industry

Course Overview

Why take this course?

From refurbishing a small house to overseeing multi-million pound development schemes, property development is a fast-paced and demanding industry.

The risks are high, but so too are the potential rewards. This course is solid grounding to find success as a property professional.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Visit sites and study locally based case studies that will introduce you to the professional markets and environments
  • Attend and contribute to current debates by visiting guest speakers
  • Venture overseas on a European field trip

What opportunities might it lead to?

This is one of few property development courses in the country that is professionally accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The quality of this course has been recognised by both the property profession and the national press. Many of our graduates now hold senior positions in industry.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • property development
  • surveying
  • project management
  • consultancy




Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Vocationally-focused courses which concentrate on both the practical and theoretical
  • An exciting environment to work in, with excellent facilities including technical labs and studio space
  • Enthusiastic, friendly tutors who bring the subject to life

Browse all courses in Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

Our courses are designed to provide a thoroughly professional education in property development. In the first year you will have an introduction to all the elements associated with property while also developing your analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Core units in this year include:

  • Professional Development
  • Law for the Built Environment
  • Construction, Design and Sustainability
  • Property Economics and Financial Accounting
  • Property Valuation

Year two

In the second and third year you will have a wide range of units to study. You are able to elect specialist themes that allow you to tailor your studies to suit your career intentions or personal interests.

Core units in this year include:

  • Heritage Property
  • Land Law and Landlord and Tenant Law
  • Planning  Law and Practice
  • Professional Development (H&S and People Skills)
  • Property Investment and Development
  • Property Valuation and Specialised Applications

Year three*

In your final year, consolidate the skills you have learnt and complete your dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Core options from in this year include:

  • Integrating Interprofessional Project
  • Research Project and Individual Project
  • Retail and Commercial Property
  • Statutory Valuations

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work, and be fully supported throughout your degree. We promote many practical teaching methods as by its very nature 'property' requires a proactive, hands-on approach.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 31% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 69% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 75% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 19% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 81% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We guarantee sustained feedback to make sure your studies are on track. Providing you with valuable skills and experience you will be assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • written exams
  • web assessments
  • essays and reports
  • project presentations
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 50% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 42% by coursework
  • Year two students: 47% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 49% by coursework
  • Year three students: 28% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 55% by coursework

Tutor's view


Emily Walsh

The diversity of expertise supplied by a wide range of property professionals provides you with a unique opportunity to view the industry from a variety of perspectives. This multi-disciplinary approach gives you a flavour of the dynamic industry which awaits you on graduation.

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Facilities & Features

Guest Speakers

We coordinate a series of lectures delivered by specially invited professional practitioners. The series provides you with an opportunity for business updates and a first-hand perspective on both local and international property environments.

Field Trips

Go on site visits and carry out fieldwork that will introduce you to the markets and environments in which you will eventually work. Also have the opportunity to go on overseas field trips with past destinations including Barcelona, Paris, Turkey, Dublin and the Netherlands.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider


We will provide hard hats and Hi-Vis vests, but you will need to buy your own safety boots costing about £35. There is an optional International field trip in year two, for which a contribution of approximately £600 is required.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

Working in property makes for an interesting, challenging and rewarding career. It is well paid and very sociable – it gets you out of the office and you will meet and work with all sorts of interesting people. The best aspect about working in property is the sheer variety of the field.

The roles our graduates have undertaken include: providing financial, management and strategic advice on land and property; establishing the market value of individual buildings and large scale development projects; making investment decisions for future returns on property assets; networking with property stakeholders to provide best possible solutions; managing existing property in order to ensure the delivery of sustainable outcomes.

Examples of what are students have gone on to do include: chartered general practice surveyor; chartered building surveyor; property developer; environmental impact auditor; specialist advisers on retail, leisure and commercial property; legal adviser and property lawyer; land and asset manager; chartered planning and development surveyor; property taxation specialist; facilities manager; historic building conservationist; President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make and, more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. Our Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) not only helps you to arrange your placement, but also acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on anything and everything related to your employability, as well as assisting you in securing other types of work experience.

Our aim is to provide you with the opportunities to gain as much work-related experience as possible while you study with us. For example, you will get the chance to solve real-life practical problems as part of our partnership scheme with charities, local and global organisations. Or take the unit International Built Environment Fieldwork, an overseas fieldtrip which enables you to apply your skills in an international context.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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