RE3IRAS-Investment in Rural Assets

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Mrs Angela Cropley

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Investment in rural land and property has been a significant element of the UK countryside for generations but the sector is seeing substantial change, with traditional family and institutional owners being joined by new investors, whether for individual or corporate investment.

Rural property has been seen as a conservative but safe asset, often demonstrating contra-cyclical performance, and thus attracting investors seeking to balance more speculative asset classes in their portfolios. Traditionally agriculture has been the focus of this investment, but emerging markets are gaining ground in the rural sector, particularly in terms of natural capital and ecosystem services.

Those operating in this sphere need to demonstrate technical knowledge in various areas, from an understanding of the core influences on rural land as an asset class to the ability to analyse and project long-term financial performance. This module is intended to introduce Real Estate students, including those who wish to make a career in the rural sector, to the range of financial, economic and asset management skills required to offer strategic advice in this area.


The aims of the module are to provide students with the appropriate technical and strategic consultancy skills to:

  • Analyse and interpret motivations for investment in the rural property sector;

  • Reflect on the ambitions and approach of different investors, whether passive managers of legacy estates or active portfolio developers;

  • Review the increasing demand for rural land for a variety of uses, including food production, forestry, renewable energy, leisure and recreation, ecosystem services, and residential and commercial development;

  • Explore the influences on owners and investors in the rural sector, including strategic opportunities, taxation and ESG.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the varying strategic influences on rural property investment, management and disposal, including the key role of owners’ objectives;

  • Apply analytical techniques and problem solving skills to formulate strategic plans for rural investors and demonstrate how to implement them;

  • Examine the increasing importance of diversification, sustainability and community engagement on rural asset management.

Additional outcomes:

  • Enhance communication skills through case studies and presentations in seminar sessions

  • Develop report writing skills through coursework

  • Enhance the ability to research and assimilate technical information

Outline content:

  • Rural land ownership and occupation

  • Asset management and exploitation

  • Influences on rural asset investment, management and disposal

  • Appropriate investment vehicles

  • Analysis of financial performance and risk

  • Rural planning and development

  • Diversification of rural asset portfolio

  • Sustainability and community engagement

  • Capital taxation and tax planning

  • Formulation and implementation of strategic plans

  • International rural investment

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Delivery will be through lectures, possibly including visiting speakers from across the sector. Seminars will be used to provide a focus for applying knowledge and skills gained in the module to real life examples. A visit to a rural site or estate may be included.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 5
External visits 6
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 50
    Wider reading (directed) 39
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Preparation of practical report 50
    Group study tasks 10
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Report 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Two hour exam

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written report with a guide length of 2,500 words (50%)

Submission date: Week 10 spring term

Formative assessment methods:

In-class case studies will provide students with the opportunity to apply their learning to real life scenarios, and to receive informal feedback as to their understanding of core principles and concepts.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of at least 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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