Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Liverpool 2015: BSc REM field trip

The third year students on the BSc Real Estate Management headed off to Liverpool for the PPT (Professional Practice Test) residential visit on 10 March 2015. 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.

Looking over Derby Square, Liverpool - photo by Paul Jenkins

Liverpool itself is one of the most impressive cities in the UK from an architectural perspective - the city centre is full of amazing 18th, 19th and early 20th century buildings that reflect its rich industrial and cultural heritage. Liverpool went through a tough time in the mid to late 20th century with the decline of local industries and high levels of unemployment - factors that contributed to the riots in the 1980s. Through the last couple of decades, the city has started to rise again with a number of massive regeneration projects and its designation as the European City of Culture in 2008. The students were encouraged to take some time to appreciate and experience the city. Take a look at the Visit Liverpool site to experience it for yourself.

The UK government has recently become interested in the creation of a 'northern powerhouse' to promote regeneration and re-balance the UK economy which could include Liverpool along with Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. But would the associated ideas and policies really break down the north-south divide? Click on the red links to take a look at some recent articles.

Back to the purpose of the visit: 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.

Following the journey up the M6, the first day started with a keynote presentation on the City of Liverpool (by the Liverpool Office Agency of CBRE), continued with a walking tour of Liverpool and ended with a briefing session on the property scenarios. The second day started with a walk to the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre (on the banks of the Mersey) for a presentation from the Chief Executive of ACC Liverpool.

Presentation at ACC Liverpool - photo by Paul Jenkins

Then it was onto the site visits which formed the focus for the rest of the trip. The property scenarios or case studies which are real life scenarios based on various buildings and development sites around the city. This year the scenarios were hosted by Matthews and Goodman, CBRE, Jones Lang LaSalle and Hitchcock Wright and Partners - 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.

Site visit - photo by Paul Jenkins

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.

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