Career Options: Real Estate and Planning

Your degree studies will have given you a wide range of skills, and insights into all aspects of Real Estate and Planning. Whilst on the course you may well have developed ideas, having followed your chosen pathway, about where in the sector you'll fit. The course will have given you a good understanding of economics, finance, planning, law, business management, and construction so you can choose where you'd like to apply this knowledge and your skills in a practical way in urban and rural environments.
Real Estate Career Options
Graduate Destinations What did last year's undergraduates go on to do? For job titles and employers see the main Destinations section.
Main Activity - Undergraduates (as %)
Main Activity - Undergraduates (as %)
Knowns only
Full-time paid work 81
Part-time paid work 4
Work and study 1
Full-time study 12
Other (travel) 1

Additionally you'll have developed many relevant skills including, problem analysis and resolution, project management, verbal and written communication, visual interpretation, and numeracy. Real Estate and Property are important for the development and maintenance of the built and rural environment, and Planning provides a vital service in determining and controlling development in which we all live and work. The Department's courses are accredited, depending on the content, by either the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), or the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). However your degree will have given you the option to enter a vast range of occupations within and outside the industry. Many graduates will work overseas during their career either permanently or on projects, as the industry is an international one. Some graduates will continue their studies following specialist postgraduate courses.


The links below will help you gain a good understanding of each career sector, key employers, current issues and lists of job roles available.

Graduates of Real Estate and Planning will work throughout the public and private sectors of the economy. One of the largest being the property and construction sector, others will be found in the environment and agricultural sector, with planners working within government, consultancy and private organisations including construction, utilities, transport and retail.

Most likely you would part of a team working together with other professionals on a development project, in a planning department of a local government dealing with an aspect of their responsibilities for example The Local Plan, Development Control or Conservation, or in Central Government (Departments of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, and the Planning Inspectorate). Opportunities also exist to work with Professional Agents, (Estate, Land and Property Surveyors) and in Estate Management. Others might work as lecturers or researchers in the higher education sector, or for Professional Organisations. The legal sector offers opportunities for both Solicitors and Barristers to practise Planning Law (after following professional postgraduate legal training).


Town Planners

Town Planner - With an eye on continuing development or regeneration, town planners are all about finding a balance between the competing spaces in our towns and cities between industrial, residential, agricultural, environmental and transport needs. Related roles involve commercial/residential surveying, planning and development surveying and housing management which you can find out more about in the 'related jobs' section of the link above.

Rural Practice Surveyor

Rural Practice Surveyor - with knowledge of agriculture, environmental management, the landscape and property, Rural Practice Surveyors provide advice and guidance to their clients at operational and strategic levels.

Chartered Surveyor

Chartered Surveyor - The profession covers a huge variety of specialisations in Land, Property and Construction; including managing and developing residential and commercial property or rural estates (see the entry above), valuation, or dispute resolution, the above link to the RICS careers guide will help you determine which area attracts you. The guide also provides detailed job profiles in many areas of work.

Property Developer/Surveyor

Property Developer/Surveyor - A planning and development surveyor advises on the effective use of land and property resources. They provide advice across a range of areas dealing with the initiation and delivery of sustainable development. In carrying out this work, the surveyor takes account of the economic, social and environmental factors impacting on development proposals and is skilled at understanding the business case for property and land development in a highly regulated environment.


Solicitor - This role provides expert legal advice to clients: from private individuals to large companies. Solicitor specialisms have either a personal focus or a commercial one, so understand where your interests lie.


Barrister - Barristers (in England and Wales) represent individuals or organisations by acting as independent sources of legal advice in and outside a court. Barristers specialise; for example criminal law, commercial law, or common law, which includes areas such as family or personal injury law. See also: Bar Council Guide to Becoming a Barrister.

Higher Education Lecturer

Higher Education Lecturer - HE lecturers teach subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students via lectures, seminars, tutorials, demonstrations, field work and blended learning. They typically balance this demand alongside a thriving research career which results in publications that bolster their academic reputation. Administration, and ultimately management, is also an important part of the job.

Finding Opportunities

For researching further professional postgraduate training courses the Prospects website is a comprehensive source of information. For Postgraduate Conversion to Law Courses (Graduate Diploma in Law, GDL) see:

As with most occupations work experience, internships, voluntary work and work shadowing can help enormously in helping you to decide not only on the work area that suits you, but also in finding employment. The web links below to will provide details of some opportunities. Many opportunities aren't advertised so networking through contacts, department's alumni/ae, Societies and direct approaches to potential employers may also be profitable. Don't neglect the possibility of approaching small organisations and companies local to your home area with a suitably composed covering letter. Using your local media may also be useful as advertising nationally can be expensive for employers. See the Careers Centre's information on Placements and other experience which has advice on how to go about this activity, and links to many useful vacancy sites.

Another very useful source is the comprehensive Target Property Sector (website and printed guide) which includes a section on Internships. The RICS Careers Guide referred to as above, has many links to potential employers. The Institute also has a recruitment site.

Recruitment sites, including agencies, include the following:

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