My life in Real Estate: Guest blog by John Mansfield, Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management programme

Early interest

From a fairly early age, I have been interested in buildings and thought that it was important to understand how they were constructed. I found that a great route towards my goal of becoming a chartered surveyor was to undertake some technical qualifications – the OND (Ordinary National Diploma) in Building and an HNC (Higher National Certificate) in Building at a local Further Education college. After completing the HNC, I was offered a place on the Urban Land Economics degree programme at Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University). This was a sandwich degree where the third year was spent working in the profession. Throughout my college and university studies, I worked at weekends and during holidays for a quantity surveying firm.


When I graduated, my first post was with a well-established, local general practice firm that offered broad professional services to a diverse client base. I was involved in predominately valuation and development appraisal work alongside rent reviews, lease renewals and landlord and tenant matters. I was also encouraged to lecture part-time at the local Further Education college I had attended. This parallel career continued after I joined a housing association, which sponsored me to study for an MSc in Property Development and Investment at the University of Greenwich.

I took a career move into the university sector at Nottingham Trent University where I was a full-time academic for 14 years. I joined UCEM as an Associate Tutor 30 months ago and was offered a full-time post in January 2016.

Reflections on working within real estate

I have always found working in real estate absorbing. It’s entertaining because of the mixture of people you meet and the experience you can gain from and with them. The work within real estate is diverse and for those interested in real estate as a career, there are plenty of opportunities in private firms, government agencies and third sector organisations. Importantly, opportunities exist locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. It is possible to develop career specialisms whilst you are in a post and it is vital to keep abreast of the technical and regulatory developments within the dynamic working environment across the globe.

BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management programme

The programme is mapped to four RICS APC pathways – valuation, investment, property management, and planning and development. All the modules offer defined pathways within the programme.

There is also a sustainability focus on the programme which is apparent in all the modules.

The programme provides students with a great grounding in real estate to enable them to forge fulfilling careers within the industry.

John has more than 30 years’ experience working within real estate – both in industry and academia. He became a Member of RICS in 1992 and was awarded an MSc from the University of Greenwich in 1995. John’s research has been published widely and he has been on the Editorial Review panels for leading UK Built Environment journals and for the RICS Research Foundation. He served as an RICS APC Assessor for eight years and has been an Examiner on the RICS Diploma in Valuation. For more about the BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management programme, please click here.