Back to: Property major Property major

The Property major focuses on ownership, development, management and the occupation of land and buildings. You will learn about the valuation and management of assets and the people, processes and finance related to the property industry.

Just as the property industry embraces both buildings and commerce, so too do studies in property. You will undertake subjects in everything from economics and finance, property valuation and management to development, construction, urban planning and law.

Drawing upon the multidisciplinary approach of the Bachelor of Design, the major builds your problem-solving skills and enables you to assess issues relating to land and buildings from a broader context.

Applicants for this major must have completed Units 3 and 4 Mathematical Methods or equivalent.


Graduates of this major find employment in the following roles:

  • Land economist
  • Property analyst
  • Property developer
  • Property investment adviser
  • Property manager
  • Property valuation.*

This major can lead to further study in the Master of Property at Melbourne.

*Once you have completed the Bachelor of Design with a major in Property, you will need to complete the two-year Master of Property or a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuation plus undertake additional required professional experience in order to become a registered property valuer.

Subjects you could take in this major

  • What are the structural principles and material properties that underpin the form and fabric of the natural and built environments? Through analysis, observation, experimentation, testing and review, students will explore examples and applications from both natural and artificial structures. Through exercises, site visits and model making, students will engage with Structures (e.g. force and support systems), Materials (e.g. metals, masonry, ceramics, polymers and timber) and Construction (e.g. case studies). Physical and environmental properties of materials are presented together with their construction techniques, and life cycle issues including embodied energy.

  • An introduction to macroeconomic theory and policy. Topics will include economic aggregates such as production and employment, the general level of prices and inflation, the exchange rate, interest rates, monetary and fiscal policies, the balance of payments and economic growth. Analysis is particularly directed to current macroeconomic problems and policy issues.

  • This subject is an introduction to microeconomic theory and policy. Topics include the theory of perfectly competitive markets, welfare analysis and the role of government in the economy, theory of the firm (production and costs), game theory, and effects of market structure on resource allocation.

  • Commercial and high rise construction (excluding industrial buildings) relies heavily of the use of reinforced concrete for the structural components. The cost of the building structure is a significant portion of the total cost of the project. The interpretation of the information provided on the engineers’ reinforced concrete drawings and specifications provides the necessary means to be able to transfer this data into the physical built form. As a result, this subject investigates the rheology of concrete and the use of admixtures. Structural design concepts for reinforced concrete structures are analysed and their influence on construction methods assessed. The concepts relate to reinforced concrete frames including slab and beam systems, prestressed concrete design concepts and construction methods and composite construction systems. Other related topics include exposed concrete surface finishes, sprayed concrete technology, concrete detailing and constructability.

  • Modern-day, sophisticated property professionals, in their roles as key advisers, developers or investors, are required to lead and / or act in close collaboration with a wide range of other professionals in the analysis and management of property development and property investment projects. Professional property practitioners need to gain a strong understanding of the principles, processes and systems associated with the design and construction of buildings. Construction is, effectively, the largest cost element in a property’s lifecycle, is a source of considerable risk, and its project management is of major importance.

    This subject provides an introduction to that strategic knowledge. It discusses, for instance, residential low rise construction e.g. individual house-dwellings, master planned communities, and, commercial and industrial construction systems e.g. medium and high density residential, offices, warehouses, shopping centres, by providing a broad overview on the materials utilised, construction methods, the management of the construction process and the roles of the other professional that, as a team, deliver project.

    The various design concepts and structural systems currently used are discussed with an emphasis on how those building features affect the use and cost of construction and, thereby, the value of a property. The selection of materials, its application and performance are incorporated throughout the subject, leading to an awareness of building performance and maintenance, which also impact on property performance, profitability and value.

    The subject describes and emphasises the indelible links between the market’s demand for property, financial feasibility of projects, the design response, the methods, systems and cost of construction and their combined effect on property values.

    This subject, will the delivered in a series of weekly lectures, tutorials and a number of visits to construction sites.

  • This subject covers key elements of building services and sustainability at a residential and commercial scale. The subject aims to teach the basic terminology and concepts behind providing comfortable and effectively functioning buildings in terms of sun, envelope, services (water, waste, gas, electricity, data, fire protection), heating and cooling, air quality, acoustics and vertical transport. Using the sustainability tools being used in the industry (FirstRate5, NABERS and Green Star) students will be given a framework in which to understand how buildings perform and their impact on the environment. They will also be introduced to modelling software that will enable them to carry out performance analysis of initial designs.

  • The module considers the nature and operation of investment markets with a focus on three major asset classes; shares, bonds and property. It looks at the characteristics of these different investment options, especially in terms of the risks and returns associated with each. The module also introduces basic financial mathematics involving the time value of money, calculation of present and future values, and the computing of rates of return for investments or projects with property as a context. An introduction to the interpretation, analysis and use of financial statements (profit and loss statements, cash-flow statements and balance sheets) is provided. Finally, it considers the application of appropriate accounting and regulatory standards in interpretation of financial statements.

  • This is the first core property subject for the Bachelor of Environments Property Major. It introduces students to the basic principles and business concepts of Property, through examination of the underlying drivers of commercial Property Development and Property Investment, the underlying systems and relationships – social, commercial, political, economic and environmental - which govern the operation of property markets with particular reference to urban property in Australia. More specifically, the subject examines the nature of property, property and site analysis, the statutory planning process to obtain a planning permit, property market research, and relevance of these processes to development of financial modeling and examination of property productivity, profitability and financial performance. In addition, there is an examination of the participants in the property industry, their roles and how they interact. Topics include:

    • the character of property and property interests;
    • the nature of markets and exchange;
    • property markets and their evolution;
    • stakeholders;
    • markets and sub-market characteristics;
    • highest and best use/most probable useand property potential analysis;
    • value and worth in the property context; property classes – residential, industrial, retail, commercial, other public and private sector interests;
    • market maturity;
    • property development process;
    • property investment;
    • site analysis;
    • underlying concepts associated with planning, planning policy and the statutory planning process;
    • market analysis and marketability analysis;
    • market analysis techniques;
    • the underlying sources of information that lead to the development of financial feasibility for investment property and property development;
    • how research and decisions related to assessments of site analysis, statutory planning and market research relate to the development of financial feasibility models, measurement of a property’s potential productivity, profitability and financial performance;
    • relevance of risk assessment, mitigation and management throughout feasibility process;
    • examination of data sources, collection, analysis, synthesis and review;
    • indicators of market movements.
  • Property and property valuation matter, Residential and commercial properties form a substantial part of a nation’s wealth. The practice of quantifying the wealth of landed resources affects the stability of the local, the national and the global markets.
    Building on prior study of ENVS10003 Constructing Environments and ABPL20031 Property Principles, this core subject for the Bachelor of Environments property major introduces students to the main systems and relationships which govern the generation of opinions of market value for urban property held under freehold title in Victoria. Topics include: value and market value; the property market; the valuation profession; methods of valuation; the valuation process; factors influencing value; direct comparison; data collection; data analysis; procedures for determining and reporting value; the main valuation methods; valuation of property leased at market rent.

  • This subject provides a broad introduction to the nature and construction industry both locally and internationally and investigates the roles and responsibilities of a range of industry stakeholders. Theories relating to management, project management, teamwork and communication and how they apply to the construction industry are presented. The project life cycle concept is presented and project procurement systems and contracts are explored. An introduction to estimating practices, tender preparation and the main contractor selection is provided. New challenges for construction managers are considered including environmental concerns, ethical issues, technological innovation, workforce diversity and skills shortages

  • Contractual rights and obligations and construction contracts are presented. Construction legislation and statutory controls are also investigated along with contractual disputes and resolutions. A significant part of the subject aims to provide students with the basic principles and practice of administering building and construction projects in accordance with their respective conditions of contract. Various forms of domestic and international standard building contracts are presented along with the basic principles and practice of administrating a construction contracts. Typical standard contracts are presented and analysed in detail. In particular, conditions of contract, role and responsibilities of parties to the contract, insurance and security, progress payments, variations to the contract, adjustment to the contract, delays, defects, completion of the works and retention monies are covered.

  • This subject focuses on issues affecting the management of construction projects at the site level. An overview of production management and how it relates to the construction industry is provided along with consideration of issues affecting the efficient use of resources such as labour, subcontract labour, materials, plant and equipment. Construction project planning methods and resource management systems are introduced. Labour productivity improvement techniques to such as work study and activity sampling are presented. Critical path scheduling is introduced and the construction plan for a low rise commercial building is undertaken. Contractor's cost control, industrial relations, site safety and quality assurance are also examined.

  • This subject introduces the quantification of building works. It covers the principles and practice of measurement in simple residential construction including the application and use of the Australian Standard Method of Measurement (ASMM) of Building works in practice. It covers the following aspects: writing description/specifications for measured building items; purpose and preparation of Bill of Quantities (BoQ); Processes of preparing BoQ including: taking-off, working-up, abstracting and billing; types of bill formats and their uses; basic principles of measurement and description of the following: groundworks (ordinary strip foundation on flat sites – linear) and superstructure (walls – masonry, and partitions including cladding; floors in concrete, reinforcement and formwork, simple timber pitched roof, Roofing, and finishes); Concept of BoQ estimating, pricing of items and introduction to building-up of rates for work items; Introduction to computerised measurement; Tender process.

  • This capstone subject brings together and builds on an understanding of construction technologies and introduces project management concepts. Using an integrated project involving a series of studio-based exercises, students will translate a design proposal into operational construction and project management plans. A project based learning environment will be formulated for students to experience construction and project management decision making from concept through to completion. Details of project environment, construction systems, resource constraints, production processes, and management tools and methods will be explored and effective and efficient project plans will be developed.

    Students will form teams and work on assigned projects appropriately selected from the industry. Different roles in the project will be played by the teams. For example, the tenderers are to prepare a project development proposal based on the requirements of the client and then develop operational plans to implement the project. To accomplish this, the tenderers need to plan the construction project based on the development proposal, clients’ requirements and resources available. They are to estimate and evaluate activity durations, simulate and adjust construction sequences and balance resources involved. In developing the construction plan, alternative construction systems and methods will be examined and compared. Essential elements of the plan include construction equipment, temporary works and site layout. Site safety is an integral part of the plan.

    The planning processes will be assisted by introducing commercial computer applications.

  • This final year Bachelor of Environments capstone subject for the Property Major, undertaken in a studio environment, builds upon prior property subjects and consolidates understanding of business planning and objectives, site analysis, statutory planning analysis, property markets, market analysis, & marketability analysis, construction and other development costs, financial feasibility, sensitivity analysis, risk analysis, development funding, property valuation, the broader urban planning concept and requirement for sustainability in development.

    Students, working in small groups are required to source and analyse potential property development sites, carry out high level feasibilities, choose an optimal business case, develop multiple design / development options for one site, carry out detailed site, market and marketability analyses, statutory planning, financial feasibility and risk analysis to determine whether a project should proceed beyond feasibility stage, with the assistance of Estate Master (TM) development feasibility software.

  • This is a final year Bachelor of Environments subject, undertaken in a seminar studio based environment. It consolidates students’ prior learning of property concepts and principles, property markets, property valuation, statutory planning, feasibility and investment evaluation and finance. Featuring real-world case studies of income producing commercial property investments and property development projects, it will nurture the student’s interest and understanding of complex technical and financial processes related to property. The case studies will demonstrate the requirement and skills associated with the management of a wide range of professions and entities necessary to develop and manage commercial property investments and developments.

  • This core subject for the Bachelor of Environments property major draws together economic, physical/environmental, financial and legal aspects relating to the management of the property asset from the perspective of a managing agent or major property portfolio manager who are responsible for the performance of investment properties during the 95% of their economic life between the completion of initial construction and eventual demolition.
    Topics include:

    • What is property management?;
    • Stakeholders including: public and private perspectives, and owner/investor and occupier perspectives;
    • Managing properties from various use classifications;
    • Managing the physical asset: property inspections;
    • Services – contract management;
    • Planned programmed maintenance systems, etc.;
    • Legal, environmental and market demands including lease conditions and management;
    • Sustainability risk management;
    • OHS;
    • International comparisons.
  • This final year, core subject for the Bachelor of Environments, property major, examines the economic, physical/environmental, financial and legal aspects relating to the analysis of property – both quantitative and qualitative – leading to effective property resource allocation. It draws together the prerequisite analytical approaches required for effective study in the subsequent capstone studio and graduate subjects relevant to high order support for client decision-making within a dynamic commercial property markets context.

    This subject is particularly relevant as the basis to commercial (income) property valuation, finance, investment and development feasibility decision-makings. At the core of the subject is a “cash-flow” approach to property resources and analysis. The cash flow method is a technical system which the decision maker often requires, because it explicitly analyses expected cash flow income of a property project over its life cycle or holding period. The risk and return trade-off is studied under the valuation and investment evaluation framework to guide resource allocation choices.

    Topics include: property resources, income valuation, commercial property market, DCF modelling, land use and land value, building and costs, cash flow risk and return, enterprise and investment evaluation, capital market and indirect property, cost-benefit analysis and decision-making framework in a property context.

  • Commercial construction can take many forms and often includes a multitude of complex systems with specific plant and equipment requirements. These commercial buildings can include high, medium or low rise office or apartment buildings, hospitals and institutional buildings, shopping centres, sporting facilities and warehouse industrial sheds. Each project has characteristic structural forms and resultant methods of construction. This subject investigates the various structural design concepts and their influence on construction. The topics covered include the interpretation of steelwork drawings and specifications, steel frame buildings and wide span industrial sheds, warehouse concrete pavements, basement construction and site retention methods, piling systems and construction methods to suit various geotechnical conditions, tilt slab construction methods, precast concrete building systems. Construction detailing and constructability are the key issues covered within each topic together with organisation of the construction process and hybrid construction systems.

Entry requirements for the Bachelor of Design

Clearly-in Rank 2016
NA Guide only

The Clearly-in Rank is the lowest score at which students were granted entry in 2016. i

The Clearly-in Rank should be used as a guide for entry. It is not set in advance and may vary from year to year. The Clearly-in Rank is determined by the number of places available, the number of applicants listing the course as a preference and the academic achievement of those applicants.

Access Melbourne 2017
78.00 Guaranteed entry

Access Melbourne allows you to be considered below the Clearly-in Rank. Guaranteed entry is available to eligible students from a rural area or disadvantaged financial background. i

Access Melbourne can help you gain a place in a course, even if your ATAR is below the Clearly-in Rank. Eligible students must apply through Access Melbourne and meet prerequisites.

Find out more about Access Melbourne

Minimum ATAR 2017
85.00 Guide only i

You must achieve the minimum ATAR (if indicated) to be considered for entry to this degree. The Clearly-in Rank may be above the Minimum ATAR, depending on the demand for the course and the number of places available.


A study score of at least 25 in Units 3 and 4 of VCE Mathematical Methods is required for the following majors: Civil Systems, Computing, Construction, Mechanical Systems, Property and Spatial Systems.

A bridging subject will be available for students who have completed VCE Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2 but not VCE Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 or students who have received a study score below 25 in VCE Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.

Some double majors are only possible if students have completed specific subjects in VCE or equivalent.