College of Estate Management granted taught degree awarding powers

Posted on: 15 November, 2012


The College of Estate Management (CEM) is delighted to have been granted taught degree awarding powers by the Privy Council.

The College, based in Reading, provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses via supported distance learning for people in the property and construction industries worldwide.

Each year it enrols thousands of students in the UK and throughout Europe, Africa, North America and the Far East. It is the first not-for-profit, solely distance learning institution to be granted degree awarding powers.

The College of Estate Management’s Principal, Dr Ann Heywood, said: “Gaining degree awarding powers confirms the College’s status as the gold standard provider of supported distance learning to the property and construction sectors worldwide.

“Degree awarding powers are only granted to higher education institutions after rigorous scrutiny by the UK Quality Assurance Agency, against defined criteria. Employers and prospective students can therefore be assured that CEM has met and will continue to maintain the stringent standards the UK government requires.”

Hitherto, CEM’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes have been validated by the University of Reading and its MBAs have been validated by the Open University.

Achieving these powers gives the College the independence and flexibility to develop new academic programmes more quickly, in response to the needs of the industries and professional communities it serves.

The College will continue to give students the highest-quality supported distance learning, enhancing their employability, their academic standing and their career development prospects.

CEM acknowledges its long and valued partnership with the University of Reading and, more recently, the Open University. In taking this step to full independence, CEM thanks both institutions for their collaboration and support.

The College’s degree awarding powers become effective on 1 January 2013 and the first students undertaking CEM-validated degrees are expected to start in autumn 2013. The University of Reading and the Open University will continue to validate applicable CEM programmes for current students, ensuring a phased and well-managed transition.

CEM’s history dates back over 90 years and in that time it has educated more than 150,000 students, many of whom have gone on to become leaders in the property and construction industry in the UK and internationally.

Dr Heywood added: “It is our students, past, present and future, who are the key to our success. This award is a major endorsement of both our robust academic tradition and our capacity to build a vibrant and independent future.”


Founded in 1919, the College of Estate Management is a self-funded charity and the leading international provider of supported distance learning for real estate and construction professionals.

The College’s patron is His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

CEM offers diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Designed for part-time study around work, CEM courses offer practical skills which build on a student’s workplace experience and have a direct benefit in their professional life.

At any one time around 4,000 students from more than 100 countries are progressing their learning with CEM, taught by tutors with extensive industry experience.

CEM’s active research programme makes a major contribution to knowledge across the profession, benefiting businesses, practitioners and policymakers alike.

For more information about the College of Estate Management, visit