From the 21st to the 24th of May, our MPhil Real Estate Finance (REF) class embarked on an educational trip to Barcelona, Spain. This excursion provided an excellent opportunity to bridge our academic studies with practical real estate experiences. We are deeply grateful to alumnus, Mr. Roger Hensman, our course director, Dr. Thies Lindenthal, and the Land Economy Board for their invaluable support.




After arriving in Barcelona and checking into our accommodation, our enlightening class trip officially began. We first met up with MPhil REF 2004 alumnus, Mr. Roger Hensman, at Livensa Living Diagonal, a Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) that his team developed and has since sold. Here, we gained insights into the PBSA supply and demand drivers in Europe, the building’s development process, financing options, and sale. The current building manager gave us a tour, showcasing the modern, innovative, and appealing aspects of the PBSA.

Outside area

Next, Roger took us to a currently under construction PBSA, his newest project. We were privileged to tour the construction site and observe the development process, directly linking to the insights gained from our RE03 coursework. The experience of seeing a PBSA being built provided a tangible connection to our studies on development processes.

Group photo

We then visited the La Farga shopping mall, where the asset manager, Timothy Young, gave us a presentation on the challenges and innovations of the Spanish retail market. The mall’s redevelopment efforts resonated with the strategic debates from our RE01 coursework, emphasizing the dynamic nature of retail real estate and the importance of adaptive reuse in maintaining market relevance.


In the evening, we enjoyed dinner by the Barceloneta beach with Roger and Timothy. This informal setting allowed us to discuss the day’s insights and bond with our peers.

Having a meal




The second day started with a visit to the Cushman & Wakefield office in Barcelona. Here, we explored the intricacies of the Spanish and European real estate markets. Discussions about office spaces and key investment metrics provided practical applications of our RE02 coursework, highlighting the criteria used for property investments.

Group photo

Following this, we went to the Urban Input Barcelona office. Following their presentation, we went to visit an office that they have invested in.


This visit was particularly enlightening as we explored a recently invested office space. The design and use of materials tailored to the Spanish climate offered a stark contrast to UK office designs, reinforcing the understanding that real estate is profoundly influenced by local conditions and cultural context.

Group of people

The office’s balcony – very different design from UK offices





Our final day in Barcelona was dedicated to exploring the city and strengthening group bonds. We embarked on a boat cruise, enjoying a scenic view of the city, followed by sightseeing and visiting famous landmarks. This day of exploration and camaraderie was the perfect conclusion to our trip, enhancing our understanding of Barcelona's urban landscape and real estate market.

On a boat
A meal outside
Sagrada Familia

This trip to Barcelona successfully blended academic enrichment with practical real estate insights and group bonding. Experiencing real estate development and management in action brought our coursework to life, deepening our understanding of the field. The support from Mr. Roger Hensman, Dr. Thies Lindenthal, and the Land Economy Board was instrumental in making this trip a success, providing us with invaluable knowledge and stronger peer connections.