Wednesday, 19 March 2014

REM Students in the North: Liverpool 2014

Spring (well almost) and time for the third year students on the BSc Real Estate Management to head off to Liverpool for the PPT (Professional Practice Test) residential visit (3 - 6 March 2014). The visit provides the students with an opportunity to study a local property market (in a location away from the south-east) and to apply all aspects of the real estate management subject disciplines to locally based case study problem solving.

The PPT itself is both a challenging and rewarding experience for students and is designed to promote and examine the ability of students to communicate effectively, demonstrating self-confidence, time management and self-motivation. Why do we put the students (and staff) through this? Because it provides excellent training and preparation for students who will be seeking membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors through the APC.

Back to Liverpool. The city on the Mersey with a very rich history (and The Beatles). 

Following a massive decline in the 1980s and early 1990s when it was almost abandoned by central government, Liverpool has fought back and today the city is thriving once more. A good example of this is the well-known regeneration of the Albert Dock. Take a look at the contrast between the Albert Dock in the 1980s and today. You can find out more about the regeneration of Liverpool by following these links:

So where did the students go in Liverpool? They visited the following sites:

Ropewalks - an area in the city centre which takes its name from the craft of rope-making for sailing ships that dominated the area until the 19th century. It is characterised by its long, straight streets running parallel to each other and is known as now 'Liverpool's creative quarter'. Urban Splash have been heavily involved in the regeneration of this area and hosted the site visit.

The Tea Factory (RopeWalks) by Urban Splash - photo by David Shiers 

Royal Liver Building - an iconic building in Liverpool, built in 1911 (the tallest building in Europe at the time) and now a Grade 1 listed landmark building. The visit was hosted by CBRE (who manage the office space in the building). Find out more about the Liver Birds which stand on top of each tower.

Royal Liver Building - photo by Mike Patrick

India Buildings - another iconic building, completed in the 1930s and built as an office building (originally for The Blue Funnel Line) it was designated as a Grade II listed building in 1975. This site visit was hosted by Matthews and Goodman.

8 Water Street - an office building which keeps being rescued from demolition. Should it be? Take a look and decide for yourself. The site visit was hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle.

8 Water Street (on the right of the picture)

The keynote presentation on the City of Liverpool was given by Mark Worthington, Director at the Liverpool Office Agency of CBRE.

The first day concluded with a briefing session on the property scenarios. The property scenarios or case studies are real life scenarios based on various buildings and development sites around the city. This year the scenarios were hosted by Urban Splash, Matthews and Goodman, CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle and a representative from each company presented their project to the students onsite. Then it was over to the students to start their fieldwork and carry out inspections at their allocated sites. The students presented their projects on the final day of the field trip during a formal viva voce examination and they also had to submit a written report once they returned to Oxford.

As well as the property scenarios, each student had to take part in two more scenario based assessments (viva voce examinations again) on Professional Liability and Landlord and Tenant Law and Professional Conduct. These vivas were designed to test students on their presentation skills, accuracy and ability to think on their feet.

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