Six Sigma (Distance Education)(Specialist Diploma) [September 2017]

University of Limerick (17SDSSIG)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Mixed, Distance



ECTS Credits



Ulearning, Science & Engineering

Skills Area

Advanced Manufacturing

General Information

Sean Moore





Please contact Sean Moore for any questions about the course content: E-mail:

CPE will assist with entry, administrative and admissions queries: E-mail:



Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


About this Course

Since 2008 this Six Sigma Black Belt course, has been developing participants' productivity and process improvement skills in a real and practical way for industry. Unemployed participants have been supported by Springboard since 2011.

The Six Sigma Specialist Diploma is a distance education course. Participants attend face-to-face session on three Saturdays a semester and engage in distance education and online learning throughout the programme. While class contact is low there a significant amount of interaction online.

The programme is heavily statistically orientated and the modules introduce and use of data and statistical analysis appropriate for black belt level Six Sigma. Delivery will include a practical application of software tools to undertake statistical analysis. There is an emphasis is on the understanding, interpretation and relevance of statistical and data analysis rather than on calculations.

For all participants a company-based project is a key element of the programme, ensuring the integration of the various concepts covered in the taught element in a real world setting. The taught content is designed to support the project implementation and the project begins on the first day of the course.

The project will require the application of the concepts covered in the course. The output of the project should involve a significant benefit to the company. The expectation that the project would realise savings of at least €50,000 for the participant organisation, or a comparable benefit based on the organisation context.

The project provides participants with a practical application of the six sigma problem solving process and data analysis within an organisation. It develops their skills and confidence in the application of lean sigma, and serves as a case study of their skills.

The programme is offered solely as a continuing & professional education course for building individual capability and organisation capacity in process improvement. As the target participants are normally working the course is delivered by a combination of Saturdays on campus and online distance education.

The programme thus supports springboard participants in continuing to seek work and an option to complete the programme when they find employment.


When students have finished this course they will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, implement, monitor, and control Six Sigma activities at both operational and strategic levels in an organisational setting.

2. Explain the causes process variation and their impact on a process.

3. Describe the implementation tools of Six Sigma.

4. Present a professional Six Sigma plan to peers with the potential to monitor, improve, and control variation in a process within the students chosen project organisation or field.

5. Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan monitor and implement the Six Sigma improvement cycle activities at an operational level within an organisation.

6. Outline a plan to monitor and implement Six Sigma improvement cycle activities at a strategic level within an organisation.

The springboard programme comprises four taught modules and a Job Readiness Programme and an Industry Learning Experience

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold an NFQ level 8 primary honours degree (minimum H2.2), or equivalent and have at least 5 years of relevant industrial experience.

Applicants will be required to undertake a short problem solving assignment to satisfy the course admission team that they have the motivation and ability to complete and benefit from this course.

Applicants maybe short listed for interview as part of the application process.

Alternative Entry Route
Candidates who do not meet the minimum entry criteria can be evaluated under the UL RPL policy and may be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for the programme.

Education qualifications, work experience, motivation and overall potential to be successful on the programme are considered in evaluating an application.

Applicants are required to meet the University of Limerick English Language requirements.

To be eligible for Springboard+ funding applicants must be resident in the state.

Long Description

Six Sigma (Distance Education)(Specialist Diploma)





Structure: The programme comprises three Taught Modules, a Job Readiness Programme and an Industry Learning

Content: Taught Modules:

Understand the principles of 6 Sigma and how they can be implemented in the manufacturing and service sectors to
deliver strategic objectives. Introduce some of the key Six Sigma tools used e.g. SPC, FMEA, DOE etc. – specifically in
the non-manufacturing sector. Review approaches to Problem Identification and Problem Solving. Introduce some of the
other Problem Solving key tools used e.g. 8D, Root Cause Analysis Seven Quality Control Tools, Seven Management
Tools, QFD, Trizz, FMEA. Discuss the roles required for implementation (Executive Leadership, Master Black Belt, Black
Belt, Green Belt). Implementation of continuous improvement techniques.

Fundamental Statistics, Basic distribution theory, Graphs, histograms, location, spread, Box-plots, Statistical Process
Control, Various types of control charts for both variable and attribute data. Core Six Sigma Statistics, T-tests,
Regression, Decision making under uncertainty, hypothesis testing and analysis of variance, production, Cusum charts,
multivari charts, individual/moving range charts.

Process capability indices - Cp, Cpk etc., R&R studies, machine capability. Multiple Regression, two way analysis of
variance, Introduction to Reliability Theory, experimental design from theory, through construction, to application. Use an
appropriate software package to design an experiment, analyse and interpret the resulting data.

MS5452 SIX SIMGA PROJECT: Industry Learning Experience: Participants will undertake a 12 credit project on the
application of six sigma. The project builds the participants skills in using the tools and techniques of six sigma in a live
environment. The project element starts at the beginning of the programme and extra support is given to Springboard+
students, through a dedicated placement coordinator, in assisting them to find a company in which to undertake their

Timetable Info

On-line and Distance Education elements will require the participants to have access to the Internet and a familiarity with basics software such as word processing applications and email. On-Campus Sessions are held in Limerick on a Saturday. There are approximately 7 Saturday sessions over the year. As indicated above the time commitment for study on this programme is approximately 17 hours per week.

Delivery Location

On-line and distance education, with face-to-face sessions at the University of Limerick campus.

Delivery Notes

Delivery is a hybrid of traditional distance education and on-line learning together with a number of on-campus tutorials in Limerick (approx. 3 Saturdays per semester). In addition, there are on-line discussions moderated by a subject matter expert on elements of each module to reinforce the learning and maximise the benefit of the programme for participants. Mix of online/distance and on-campus. Participants should be willing to travel to Limerick for the on-campus tutorials, Job Readiness Programme and exams, approximately 10 Saturdays over the year.

Admissions Contact Details

Carmel O'Dwyer


Please contact Ulearning for any questions about the course content at

CPE will assist with entry, administrative and admissions queries at




Application Procedures

Stage 01: Apply on Springboard Courses to register your interest in taking this course at the University of Limerick.

Stage 02: Start the University of Limerick on-line application process and save it until you have all documentation ready.

UL Online Application System for Six Sigma - Specialist Diploma
(If you are prompted on the UL online application form to pay an application fee of €25, please select the “Pay by Cheque” option to waive this fee. Springboard applicants are exempt from fees.)

Stage 03: Gather the required documentation to support your application as detailed below. Support Documents required with your application:
§ Photo or Scanned original copy of your transcripts/college results. Graduates of UL need only provide us with their Student ID number. We can access their student transcripts using this number.
§ Photo or Scanned copy of passport to verify ID and full legal name.
§ Digital quality head and shoulders photograph to passport standards for your ID card.
§ Any other relevant documentation to support your application, such as a CV or professional certificates.
§ Applicants who do not have English as their first language must include the following additional documents with their application form:
•English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
•English language competency certificate
Applicants from non-English speaking countries are required to have a high level of competence in English

These are compulsory documents and are required for enrolment at the University. It can take time to gather these documents so please do so prior to submitting your application.

Stage 04: Upload your documents and submit your application to the University of Limerick On-line Application System. Please note, your application will not be processed until all documentation is received.

Stage 05: The University of Limerick On-line Application System will make you an offer if you are successful.

Stage 06: Accept the University of Limerick On-line Application System Offer.

Stage 07: The Springboard Application System will offer you a place which you should accept to avail of free fees. If you do not you will be liable for fees of €5,250.

In order to avail of Springboard+funding you must provide written confirmation as follows:
Written confirmation from the Department of Social Protection (DSP) that you are a Social Welfare recipient at the commencement of the course.
Swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status as Homemaker and provide written proof.
Employed/Self Employed:
Provide a copy of most recent P60 or other relevant revenue documentation or a letter from their current employer to confirm employment or self-employment.