This is the transcript for the video Bachelor of Property Economics

Maurice Cohen:

Welcome. I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose ancestral lands our city campus now stands. I would also like to pay respect to the elders, past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of the knowledge of this land.

This session will be recorded. We will only record audio and screen share. We will not be recording any video input from you. Any further information that you will provide during the session is optional and will be captured from UTS. If you do not wish to be involved and be recorded as part of this webinar, you may contact UTS at instead to discuss any of the questions you may have.

You may wish to ask questions and you’re welcome to do so, there is a Q&A at the bottom of your screen. And perhaps, if you do ask questions, an appropriate staff member will answer your question. I suspect you perhaps should leave your questions to the last minute, because I’m going to cover quite a bit of information for you. So hopefully that should be…

So welcome to the School of Built Environment, University of Technology. I’m Maurice and Janet is with me as well. And I’m going to also introduce Leon, who is one of our current students. And I’m going to ask Leon to say a few words about the course, further on in the presentation.

UTS. It’s a great campus, it’s a beautiful campus. Where is it? Well, you can clearly see it’s located in Sydney. Central Station, Town Hall, it’s a great city, it’s near the financial and business hub. Our university is ranked as number 11, because we are in the most livable city in 2019.

So when you actually look at our campus, it’s got easy access to everything, Central Station, buses, close to Darling Harbor, close to Chinatown. And hopefully when things open up, all our students tend to explore the area, to be able to walk to Central Park, to be able to work into Chinatown and enjoy the delights of Chinatown.

Our campus have fantastic new facilities. There is a beautiful new library that’s been provided, and I think you could clearly see the pictures there. And of course, when the campus will open, people are always active on the campus site. Lots of food halls, lots of wonderful facilities that people enjoy.

So what about the subject property economics, the course property economics? Well, we’re part of the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, generally known as DAB. So Design, Architecture and Building offer courses in design, architecture and the built environment. The built environment offers two undergraduate courses, one called Bachelor of Property Economics, which is what I’m going to be presenting today. And the other one is Bachelor of Construction Project Management.

So what is Bachelor of Property Economics? How does it work, how does it run, and why should you do the course? When we look at land as an economic resource, it is the most basic and the most fundamental of our economic resources. We’re all consumers of what we could call real estate. Our home, our business, and of course, don’t forget our infrastructure and public space. These are all consumers of real estate.

So we don’t just look at the housing market. It’s interesting, because Dr. Guy Dubelle from the reserve bank once commented, “The housing market has a pervasive impact on the Australian economy. It is the most popular topic of conversations around the barbecues.” As he said, “You could be forgiven for thinking that the housing market is the Australian economy.” So it’s not just housing we’re looking at, but housing generally draws a lot of commentary and activity amongst our students and amongst people wanting to do the course.

Property is involved in all the companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the top 200 companies. There are property departments and so on. And we know there is an obsession about householders wanting to own their own home. And the idea of home ownership is embedded in the Australian psyche.

So if you were to do our course and you were successful, where would you ultimately find a career? Now, a lot of you might think just real estate, but it’s not real estate. We have analysts, we have people working in urban planning and urban affairs, we have people working in finance, we have people working in funds management, we have people working in valuation practices. And if you choose real estate, it is just not merely thinking that you’re a real estate agent, but there is industrial, retail, leasing, commercial and so on. And of course the most interesting are research roles.

So if you choose to do this degree, you will come out with fantastic specialist knowledge. It’s not a business degree, it’s a property economics degree. You will have skills in valuation, in market analysis, in investment, in development. So how do you pick up those skills and what are you expected to do? Our degree’s three years. We generally offer it as full time, but if you choose, you may be able to do it part-time study, as long as we can sequence your part-time studying so that there are no conflicts further down the track when you need to pick up your subjects.

There are 24 subjects that you need to do, four subjects per semester, eight subjects for the whole year. Each subject is known as a six-credit point subject. So you need to amass 144 credit points. And that’s the jargon of the university. If you wish you can enter the website and just follow the link to the Bachelor of Property Economics course overview.

Some students may wish to do honors, which is potentially available. Some students wish to do sub majors, which allows you to do a sequence of subjects further down the track. And the sub majors, I think, make it an interesting thing. The two big sub majors we now offer, would be Planning and Property Technology. We also offer a combined degree, adding the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, where you can learn another language, you can spend a year studying overseas. Now naturally that is not going to be available, because we are in lockdown. But assuming that things do open up, there is the potential to spend a year overseas in that particular degree.

So if you were to do the Bachelor of Property Economics and the international studies, it would take you five years. So you would start in Year One, and you would then work through a combined series of subjects. Whereas in Year Twos and Threes and Fours, you’re doing in-country studies and you finish off in Year Five. So there is potential to do a double degree if you choose to do so.

So what are we going to learn in our course, and what do you pick up in our course? There’s a whole range of areas that we cover, starting from first year, moving on to second and moving on to third. So there are courses in valuation, how to value real estate, how to value housing, how to value strata, how to value commercial property and so on. There’s some subjects in accounting and financial management, the basis of property economics is economics, so there are foundational subjects in economics plus further subjects in economics.

There are subjects dealing with investment and finance, property management, taxation, property development, urban planning, building and construction, a whole series of subjects that focus on environmental issues, property development, and so on. So these are the key discipline areas. So our subjects are built onto these particular discipline areas and allows you, over the three years, to develop skills and expertise in all those areas.

So recapping, you as a full-time student will need to do four subjects each semester. There are six semesters over three years. So at the end of the day, you will have done 20 core subjects and four elective subjects in our course. If you were to choose property economics and you were to arrive here, what would you actually then have? Number one, in autumn, you will do four subjects. Autumn is the Semester One. So you would actually do four subjects in Semester One, Property Valuation, Built Environmental and Ethics, Built Environment Economics, Construction and Development Processes.

Assuming you’re successful, and we hope that you would be successful, you would then move across into spring. And once you move into spring, which is what is called the second semester, you would do a little bit more law, Built Environment Law and Professional Practice. You will be doing Microeconomics for Property and accounting subject, called Property Accounting and Financial Management, and Property Market Research and Analysis. So they’re the first-year subjects that are on offer in our particular course.

How do you learn? Well, at the moment we have pivoted onto online learning, because on-campus activities are seriously constrained because of the COVID situation. When we open up and get moved back to campus, there will still be access to online learning, to the extent that you will have access to a learning platform, which we call Canvas. We have a lot of interactive lectures. We do a lot of case studies based in a lot of the subjects. In many of our subjects, we spend time on the computer, doing some modeling. We also get involved in simulation of games. And by definition, we do lots of projects across disciplines. Our course is very much problem-based, and very much focused on groups. And there are occasions where we do site visits. And I think they’re fantastic to be able to be involved in that.

Who are our lecturers? Well, most of our lecturers are either full-time or part-time. Our lecturers bring a wealth of knowledge, a lot of practical and teaching experience, and our lecturers are experts across the related disciplines that we mentioned to you. When you finish the degree… Sorry, when you successfully finish the degree, the degree itself will make the academic requirement for valuation certification with the key professional bodies in the property industry. In other words, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Australian Property Institute, and the Property Council of Australia. So effectively, what happens is you will get a ticket, you’ll get application and a ticket associated to that.

If you were to finish, the ticket will give you registration and you will then be recognized as a valuer in New South Wales, which will then allow you to move up further over time to be expert valuers if need be. Who employs us? Who employs our graduates? And it’s across the spectrum. We have banks and financial institutions, we have insurance companies, we have research institutions, we have government departments, we have valuation firms, we have agencies, we have developers. We even have charities, because charities do have property portfolios.

These are some of the big names of our potential employers, and we’re always in contact with our employers. They offer scholarships, which I’ll talk about in a minute. And they also offer cadetships at different times. So we can have Mirvac, we can have Jones Lang LaSalle, we can have KPMG, the very large property groups like Goodman, Charter Hall, some of the banks associated there, Macquarie Bank and so on. So these are the potential employers, and we definitely have UTS graduates working, I suspect, in each of these employer groups that I have on slide for you.

Okay, is the demand for UTS graduates high? And the answer is yes, it is very high. In fact, a lot of our students by the time they’re in second year, have got some sort of work and part-time jobs. And by the time they get into third year, a lot of them are practically fully employed, because the growth in the industry is strong, and our graduates are very well respected out there in the community.

Okay, do we offer scholarships and prizes? Of course we do. And there are some very large and good scholarships and prizes, very prestigious ones. Because we have a good, strong working relationship with industry, a lot of scholarships, employment and prizes are awarded to UTS property students each year. We also allow industry partners to be involved, and we invite them to present, as guest lecturers, to talk a little bit about what happens in their particular institutions.

So the big scholarships are Charter Hall, Goodman, and Stockland. So they’re the three big scholarships Charter Hall offers $10,000 per recipient and a paid work placement. And that is done in the final year. Goodman offers a similar one, and Stockland offers a $12,000 scholarship. And generally those who win these scholarships end up gaining some employment with the three providers.

What do our students think about this course? Well, I’ve invited Leon to say a few words. And so Leon will just take over the microphone and hopefully will give you some wise words of wisdom, and I’m sure that Leon will be happy to take a few questions at the end. Take it away, Leon.

Leon Dodig:

Yep, sure. Thanks Maurice. Hi guys. So my name’s Leon, I’m 20 years old. I actually transferred from University of Sydney where I was doing microbiology and biology, to this course, so it was quite a big switch for me. I’m now beginning Year Two. And so far, obviously with corona, our classes have been in-person, zoom sessions and stuff like that. At the moment, obviously, everything is online. You also have some classes that are prerecorded, so you can go at your own pace. And there’s also tutorial sessions for these prerecorded classes. So if you do actually want to interact with people, you do have the option to actually go to these sessions as well.

There’s a lot of group projects. It makes you work as a team, obviously, to produce reports, most notably your valuation reports. And it gives you a real feel of how it would be to actually work in the industry. So it gives you a first impression immediately in first year, so you know, is it for you, or is it not.

When I was starting the course, I was expecting it to be heavily male-based as well, property, but there is somewhat of a healthy mix between guys and girls in the course, which was nice and surprising. I also met quite a few people from regional New South Wales, which I found quite odd, because I was kind of expecting, you know, property it’s surely Melbourne and Sydney-centric, but there’s quite a few people from regional New South Wales as well.

One of the perks of this particular course is most of your lecturers actually work in the industry. So you constantly get feedback of what’s going in real time. So for example, my Property Manager lecturer, he works in the field, and he always gives us the latest updates and let us trends. So for example, with corona, how in office buildings are implementing touchless entry, with the phone and stuff like that to minimize contacts and stuff like that. So it’s quite interesting in that term.

And yeah, as Maurice also mentioned before, the employment rate is quite high. You constantly get announcements about job opportunities. I, myself, am actually employed and I’m already in Year Two. And it was also through those announcements. So if you’re looking for a career in properties, this is definitely a good entryway, and you will have quite a lot of luck of this course in it. And yeah, that’s pretty much most of what I could think to say. Is there any questions maybe?

Maurice Cohen:

And I think the questions, Leon, they might pop into our little chat line, right? And I think we can answer those at the end. So I think that would be great.

Leon Dodig:

Oh, okay.

Maurice Cohen:

And I also might as well say that I didn’t coerce Leon into saying those good things. It came from the heart. Let me just tell you that it came from the heart. Terrific, and I do appreciate Leon coming on, spending his time on Saturday, and talk a little bit about how our course is. Thanks, Leon.

Leon Dodig:

No good, thanks Maurice.

Maurice Cohen:

Okay. Now we’ve had past students, of course, we’ve always asked them, “What do you think about the course?” And, “Is it a good course? And, “What is the feedback?” And some of the things they shared with us, is things like, “The friends I made.” Now, you might think, “Well, this is a bit silly,” but it’s not. The friends you make in the property course become your partners in the profession. It becomes the networking. It allows you to understand how the property industry operates. And then all of a sudden, 10 years down the track, you are going to be dealing with the person that sat next to you and did the group report with you.

Interestingly, and I think this is very true, “The lecturers were very approachable. So when lecturers are involved, you could easily approach them. You could easily talk to them.” And even though we’re at the moment, doing things by online, it’s not a problem, because lecturers are always available for teams, situations and so on. “The nature of the subjects,” I think were quite interesting. So people really got involved in valuation. People got involved in mathematical modeling. I remember one girl saying, “I don’t know if I’m ever going to get into this mathematical modeling, Maurice.” And then all of a sudden, at the end of her degree, she came and said, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, I love it, it’s a passion of mine. And that’s the industry in which I’m going to work in.”

So effectively, past students have given us the thumbs up, and I would encourage you to come and join the course, because by definition, you will be a past student in a few years time, and you can give everybody the thumbs up in the future.

Okay, now this is kind of out of my area, because I’m the academic presenting the information, but you need to know how you get into the subject. So last year, the lowest rank was 77.05. So that was the ATAR rank that allow you to come in. And with the combined degree, it was 80.95. Now that doesn’t mean it will be like that, right? Because things always change. If you do certain subjects, you get the brownie points, you get the brownie points. So there, you’ve got what we call the adjustment factors associated with it.

At that stage I’m going to stop, because I think I’ve got maybe 10 minutes to go before Jess cuts me off. But I’m going to have a quick look at the chat line, and also to invite you to the other chat that could be available. So I’ll just look at some of the questions, okay? So here we go.

Jess actually says that you can chat on the chat line. Just earlier… Let’s have a look and see the Q&A. I have a question, “Will this course have assumed knowledge,” was a question. Well, we assume you have basic mathematical and English skills. Okay? So the assumed knowledge is basic mathematics and English skills. I always say if you can add and subtract, divide and multiply, you’re doing well, but it might need a little bit more mathematical skills as you get further down the track. And the other issue of knowledge is, in this particular case, English. We’d expect you to have a working knowledge of English. So they’re the only two assumed knowledge area.

Now, some people say, “Could you have done legal studies? Could you have done economics? Could you have done business?” No, you don’t need it. And in fact, sometimes it’s best not to have done it, to be honest, because some students are very cocky, arrive and say something like, “Oh, I’ve done all this economics before. And I did it at high school, and then I… ” They kind of slacken off, and they struggle. So yeah.

“Double degree, Bachelor of Business (Accounting and Property Economics).” No, we don’t offer that double degree. Okay? What you could do is a Bachelor of Property Economics, and do a sub-major in accounting. So what happens is that with the four electives that we offer, you come out with a Bachelor of Property Economics, and then you do four accounting electives within that. But the actual double degree itself, is not on the offer. We don’t offer the double degree on that one.

Okay, so have we answered all the questions? Let me just have another quick look. Okay, the first question was, “Will this course contribute to study towards a builder’s license?” No, it’s not a builder’s license. We don’t do that, okay? It actually gives you, as Janet said, it gives you valuation, but not a builder’s license. If you want a builder’s license, I suspect you need to do construction project management.

“What are the contact hours?” I think Janet has suggested, generally the subjects are three hours per lecture and potentially some tutorials. What we try and do, is make the contact hours such that we try and push it into a couple of days a week. So even though it’s a full time, we try and free up some days for you, so you can end up going off and working on those days associated with it. And I think I’ve answered the question about property economics and Bachelor of Accounting.

Any other questions, you’re welcome to ask. You’re welcome to ask Leon some questions if you choose. I’ve got a feeling I’ve only got about six minutes before I’m going to be beamed off. It’s like Star Trek here, you’re going to be beamed off, “Beam me up, Scotty.” So…


There’s a couple more coming through now, and one in Chat as well. Here’s one from Charles. “How much of this course is theory and practical?

Maurice Cohen:

It’s a blend. It’s a blend of the two. You’ve got to have some theoretical stuff, because the theory allows you to read, right? And then I think, as Janet said, right, the theory allows you to read, it allows you to understand, but it’s practical to the extent that you have to do things. So in property valuation, you actually have to put together a valuation report. That’s pretty practical. So what do we mean by a valuation report? A valuation report that you can take to the bank and you can say, “Here it is.” A valuation report, right… Let’s pretend it’s an estate that has to be moved on, “There is the valuation report. Here’s a valuation report for land tax purposes.” So in that sense, it’s very practical.

And in the final subject that we actually do, which is called Capstone, you work in groups and you actually present. And it’s a wonderful presentation. It actually… You present a case study. So it’s a practical application, but that all comes together because you have done some of the theoretical stuff. So I hope that answers a bit of a [inaudible 00:27:17].

So you need a bit of theory. Theory allows you to read, because if you can’t read the bits and pieces, the theory doesn’t help you. You need the theory because that lays the foundation, and everything then is driven by practice. So, yes, it’s a combination of the two. And Janet of course has suggested maybe it’s a 50, 50.

Any other questions, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen? I might finish off with the last poll, right? Sorry, Charles asks… Here we go. Does the course take RPL, and Janet has answered, “Yes, depends where you’ve come from. And it depends on what you’ve done.” Okay, “Do I need to do a bridging course if I haven’t undertaken Maths Advance?” And Janet has said, “No, you don’t, but there’s always maths help at the university.” So what tends to happen is if you’re doing some bits of maths and you say, “Oh, I’m a bit rusty here. I’ve kind of forgotten what to do.” Not a problem. We have maths help within the university, and you’d basically go along and you enroll in some sort of maths tutorial help, and they then allow that to continue through. Okay, so were there many other questions? Did I answer everything, I think?


There’s a couple more in the Open tab, Maurice. We probably have time for one more.

Maurice Cohen:

Yeah, yeah. Where do I find that?

Jess :

I can read one to you, “Are the reports group-based or individual work?”

Maurice Cohen:

It depends on the subject, right? Depends on the subject. In Capstone it’s group-based, right? In some other, it’s individual. So there is a subject, I think, called Data Visualization, where you are going to present individual reports on data, right? And that’s a hands-on computer-based thing. And then in Capstone, you have to do a group report. The same thing in Valuation. Group report in valuation, but you also have an individual report evaluation.

No. Sorry, I’ll come back to that again. Okay, let me go back up. “You are qualified to be a valuer, but are there still many other jobs you can get in the property industry?” Yes, of course. And Janet has explained that. Yes, valuation gives you the ticket, but people then work in other areas. They work in urban planning, they work in funds management, they work as analysts. And the answer is yes, of course you can.

Okay. The next one is from… “Would the accounting electives give the the CPA… ” No. Sorry, a CPA are pretty strong, right? To the extent that the CPA people expect a full accounting degree. So the answer is no. “How many students are in the course?” I think Janet has answered that, but I’ll be… About 120 per year. Okay? Sliding around. Okay. So I don’t know if we’ve got any more questions. Are there any more questions? Jess, do I need to answer-


I can’t see any coming through, I think you’ve answered them all, between yourself and Janet. Thank you.

Maurice Cohen:

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for the typing. And thank you. So just to conclude, I look forward to seeing you. You’ve got to basically come along. I look forward to seeing you. Please come, come and join us at UTS, come and enjoy. Enjoy the campus, come and enjoy the course, come and enjoy the people, come and enjoy the comradeship that you will have in the property industry. There are jobs in property and the jobs are so broad. You will really find your niche.

And I’ll just finish off by saying, if you get this passion going, we’ll continue to grab you and put you into master’s courses because there are a variety of masters courses that allow you to continue on. So this would be the start of a long friendship. As they said in Casablanca, “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thank you very much.

Can we do the last poll? Just to get an idea. Maybe Jess, can we hit the first poll? How many… Who’s who?


Who’s who? Okay.

Maurice Cohen:

Yeah, get on the first poll? Yeah, let’s do. Who are you? Let’s do a “Who are you,” poll.

Okay. So Jess is going to hit us our first poll, “Who are you?” Now vote, tell me who you are. Are you in Year 12? Are you in Year 11? Are you someone outside? Are you a parent? Are you any other person? So let’s get an idea of who you are. All right, so it’ll be nice to see you voting. Okay, so the majority of you are Year 12s. Okay, so on that basis, I’d like to wish you great success in your HSC. I know it’s been a very difficult and tiring year, working online at home with Mum and dad and everything else going with it.

Okay, so I’ll just share the results right. Here we go. I’ll just share the results. So I’d just like to wish all the Year 12s the best of luck, and hope that things will be good for you next year. And that you’ll get the things that you need, the score that you need. And I look forward to seeing you next year, because the first person you get to see, is probably in the economics. So we’ll see how we go.

For the person in Year 11, good luck. Get to Year 12, and then I’ll see you in two years’ time. The non-current school leaver, we invite you. We love non-current school leavers. It just adds to the mix. The others, I’m not sure. I thought you perhaps heard that I was going to do a presentation and decided to come and see. Anyway, thank you very much, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. I do hope that you’re going to have a good weekend, and I look forward to seeing you, and please stay healthy and stay safe. Thank you.