The MPhil in Real Estate Finance aims to provide integrated theoretical and practical instruction in finance, investment, economics and law as they relate to global commercial property markets. Students are provided with the methods and techniques of analysis needed for commercial property financing, investment and development. The course is designed to ensure that property specialists are able to interact with other corporate finance related professionals. To this end, particular emphasis is placed on ensuring that students are familiar with the latest concepts in mixed-asset portfolio analysis, risk management, financial engineering and option-based valuation models.


Who should consider this course

If you already have some experience or interest in real estate markets, banking or investment and wish to upgrade your skills or if you are looking to commence a career in this area, then the MPhil in Real Estate Finance might be for you.



The MPhil in Real Estate Finance is modular. To complete the course students are required to complete four modules in each of the first two terms and to submit a compulsory dissertation of between 10,000 to 12,000 words in the third term. In all cases students on this course must take a quantitative research methods module as well as other compulsory modules. In addition to those, students may choose from a selection of other modules on offer in the Department. These options include modules on environmental economics, legal issues in land use and urban planning. Assessment of each module is by way of a written examination paper, project or essay work, or a combination of these methods.

In addition, all students are expected to attend the Department’s Research Management Programme that supports the development of projects for the dissertation as well as covering issues of data collection and ethics.



Tuition in the programme is based around classroom lectures, case studies and field trips to ensure students can apply the theoretical concepts taught. There are normally two one-hour lectures per week, per module. These lectures may be supplemented and/or replaced by seminars and/or workshops.

In addition, students are welcome to attend any undergraduate lectures in the Department; and they may be advised by their module co-ordinator or their supervisor to attend a specified series of lectures as a part of the course, or to familiarise themselves with a particular topic by way of background. Students are advised to take advantage of all that is going on in the Department: this includes lectures, departmental seminars, special meetings and social functions.

What's special about this course?

A modular structure enable you to focus your interests - you will gain a foundation in research methods. You can choose from a variety of options based on your own interests.

Our academics - you are taught by researchers and academics who study these subjects and are experts in their field

The Cambridge teaching system - lectures and seminars - on average you will attend 5 lectures and 2 supervisions a week, designed to give you the foundations of Real Estate Finance, familiarise you with the latest academic research and industry trends.

Course Structure

The MPhil in Real Estate Finance is modular and the examination consists of 10 units. The core pathway modules (RE01 and RE02) count as 2 units each. The Research Methods module counts as 1 unit. The Dissertation, Research Design and Structure module counts as 2 units. This allows students to choose 3 optional modules (1 in Michaelmas Term and 2 in Lent Term). Each optional module counts as 1 unit.

Compulsory Modules
Optional Modules
Course Director

RE01 - Corporate finance and real estate (Michaelmas and Lent Term) (2 units)
RE02 - Real estate finance and investment (Michaelmas and Lent Term) (2 units)
RM01 - Mixed research methods (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
Dissertation, Research Design, and Structure (Michaelmas Term) (2 units)

RM02 - Further topics in quantitative methods (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RM03 - Spatial Analysis and Modelling (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP06 - Energy and climate change (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP07 - National, Comparative, and European Environmental Law and Policy (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP08 - Comparative environmental policy (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
PGR03 - Spatial economics (Lent term) (1 unit)
PGR04 - Institutions and development I (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
PGR05 - Institutions and development II (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RE03 - Real estate development process (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RE04 - The macroeconomy and housing (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
RE05 - Legal Issues in Land Use and Finance (Lent Term) (1 unit)

The Director for the MPhil in Real Estate Finance is Professor Thies Lindenthal . Professor Thies Lindenthal is available to discuss with students specific issues about the content of the MPhil in Real Estate Finance.

Finding out more

  • How supervisions work

    Depending on the modules taken, students may have group supervisions supplementary to lectures.

    In addition to those, you will be assigned to supervisors during the Michaelmas Term after initial dissertation summaries are submitted. The Department seeks to allocate a supervisor able to provide guidance on the chosen research topic and who has similar disciplinary interests to the
    candidate. The University’s recommendation is that formal supervision meetings should take place minimum of twice a term. However, in the Department’s experience much greater frequency is usually required, particularly because the time frame for completion of the MPhil dissertation is short.

  • More on how the course is assessed

    The examining schemes are approved from year to year, and are therefore liable to variation. Approved schemes will be made available at the start of the academic year.

    Assessment of each module is by way of a written examination paper, project or essay work, or a combination of these methods. Examinations are normally in January for Michaelmas Term modules and in April for Lent Term modules.  Each module accounts for 10% of the overall mark and the dissertation accounts for 20% of the overall mark.

  • Progressing onto a PhD

    MPhil candidates wishing to pursue a PhD with the Department may apply to continue as a Graduate Student via the Board of Graduate Studies.  Each application is considered carefully by the Department and by the Degree Committee. Approval of an application will depend on three criteria:

    • availability of a supervisor;
    • the approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal; and
    • the achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee.

    Full details of the application procedure for continuing students are given on the Graduate Admissions Office website. Students wishing to continue are advised to apply early in the academic year and to be aware that funding deadlines are also often early in the applications cycle.  In all cases, approval to continue is subject to the final examinations results and approval from the Degree Committee.

  • Professional Accreditation

    The MPhil in Real Estate Finance is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The RICS is an international organisation with over 100,000 members and membership of the RICS conveys a number of benefits. Graduates of the Real Estate Finance course are eligible to enter the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), successful completion of which entitles full membership of the RICS. The RICS also offers free membership to students whilst they are taking accredited courses.
    Information about the RICS, the APC and the benefits of membership can be found on their website: www.rics.org

    The Investment Property Forum recognises the MPhil in Real Estate Finance as providing relevant skills necessary for those operating in the property investment market. Graduates from the course will be offered membership of the Forum. However they should have a minimum of 2 years relevant experience in the property investment industry before becoming a member (this could be part-time while studying). This represents fast track membership compared to the IPF standard provisions.

Boyce Family Scholarship

The Boyce Family Scholarship covers the fees for one full-time, one-year MPhil student. It is open exclusively to students who are normally resident in North America (including the Caribbean) and South America. Preference will be given to the following:

  • Students from backgrounds underrepresented at postgraduate level in their field of study, in the first instance, to women and students from racially minoritized backgrounds.
  • Who are pursuing an MPhil in Land Economy, or another course in the social sciences with a focus on the built environment, sustainability, and/or conservation.

Information for candidates

Both core and optional MPhil modules are reviewed on an annual basis. This review may lead to either a change to the core and/or optional modules offered on a particular MPhil course. Modules may be rescinded permanently or withdrawn on a temporary basis at any time.

Any information provided on Land Economy modules offered and their content is therefore subject to change and provided as guidance only to assist applicants with their choice of course. Reading lists are also provided for information purposes only and do not constitute a final or definitive list.

In brief

Course Information

Course length     10 months

Who should consider this course

If you already have some experience or interest in real estate markets, banking or investment and wish to upgrade your skills or if you are looking to commence a career in this area, then the MPhil in Real Estate Finance might be for you. 

Practical information

The course runs from September to July. Applications to postgraduate courses are done through the Postgraduate Admissions Office.