Six Sigma (Specialist Diploma) (Distance Education) [January 2019]

University of Limerick (19SDQMSSTDB)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Classroom - Daytime, Mixed, Distance


Part Time

ECTS Credits



Ulearning, Science & Engineering

Skills Area

Engineering, manufacturing and construction

General Information

Ask for a Springboard Co-ordinator



061-202605 or 061-234379


Graduate & Professional Studies (formerly CPE)
Enterprise Research Centre
University of Limerick


Springboard+ Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Please note all applications for 2018/19 are closed. Please check the Springboard+ website around May 2019 to see which courses are funded for 2019/20.

Please note the closing date for this course was Thursday 20th December 2018.

All completed applications received before Friday 14th December will be processed and offers made the following week. Any applications not completed before this date will be reviewed after that week and any remaining places offered after the Christmas Break

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 collaborative 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, this project begins on the first day of the course. It will require the application of the concepts covered in the course and the output 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.

Unemployed/Returners are expected to actively look for a company in which to complete their project, however, assistance in finding a company will be provided where necessary. Employed or Self-Employed applicants should clarify if their company can facilitate a project being carried out on their business

To assist you with the application process, you can quickly check if you are eligible for Springboard+ funding by taking this:
Self Checker Quiz
This will clarify your eligibility status. As you are not asked for personal details, when you apply for your course, you will receive an email from the University of Limerick asking you to confirm your eligibility to them. PLEASE DO THIS IMMEDIATELY

If you are NOT eligible and you are unclear as to the reason why, you can clarify this decision on or contact a Springboard Administrator within the University of Limerick on


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.

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 may be required to undertake a short process improvement assignment to satisfy the course admission team
that they have the motivation and ability to complete and benefit from this course.

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.

Long Description

Job readiness and support into employment will be provided through a series of workshops and seminars and an active engagement with motivated students in attaining employment. An optional Career Development module (CA4003) will be offered to all participants in this course for 6 ects.

Autumn Semester

AU5051 Problem Solving Tools and Techniques
MS5441 Quality Science Introduction
CA4003 Career Development

Spring Semester:

MS5432 Quality Science Statistics Advanced
MS5452 Six Sigma Project

Structure: The programme comprises three Taught Modules, a project module and a Job Readiness Programme (the job readiness programme is for unemployed or returner students)

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

The Saturday dates for semester 1 are:
Saturday 19th January 2019
Saturday 23rd February 2019
Saturday 6th April 2019

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 the University of Limerick on a Saturday. There are approximately 6 Saturday sessions over the academic year plus any exam days.
The time commitment for study on this programme is approximately 17 hours per week.

Delivery Location

University of Limerick

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

Ask for a Springboard Co-ordinator


061-202605 or 061-234379


RPL Information

The University of Limerick operates a policy for the Recognition of Prior Learning, both formal and informal/experiential learning. Informal and experiential learning includes non-accredited personal and professional education; work based training and relevant life/work experiences. This learning is assessed initially for entry on to particular courses of study but may additionally lead to academic credits and exemptions from subjects on the intended course of study. Applications for RPL are dealt with on an individual basis, facilitated by representatives from the relevant academic departments and Registrar's office at the University of Limerick. RPL for Springboard+ 2018 will be managed by Graduate and Professional Studies (formerly Continuing & Professional Education) as part of the application process. Continuing & Professional Education provides support and assistance to guide the learner through their RPL application and in compiling their portfolio. The process is student centric, with consideration made on a case-by-case basis, through submitted documentation and communication with the application team and course director.The operation of the RPL policy has been applied successfully to previous cohorts. Academic and professional qualifications, work and life experience are important considerations in assessment, but motivation and overall potential for the selected course has been a major factor in evaluating applicants.

Application Procedures

To assist you with the application process, you can quickly check if you are entitled to Springboard+ funding by taking this:
Self Checker Quiz which will advise you of your eligibility status.

Please note that you will need to provide all of the below listed documentation to support your application to the University of Limerick. This application to UL is separate to your Springboard+ application. You will be advised then you need to take this step.

- Photo or Scanned original copy of your transcripts/college results. Graduates of UL need only provide their Student ID number. We can access 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 (if applicable)

You will need to provide a satisfactory result in one of below:
See acceptable list of English Proficiency qualifications:

UL English Language Requirements

See when English Proficiency Exams can be taken here in UL

UL English Language Test details

These are compulsory documents and are required for enrolment at the University. It can take time to gather these documents so please do so once you have established that you are eligible for Springboard+ funding.

All employed participants must pay a contribution of the course cost directly to the provider for all level 7-9 courses. The onus is on the participant to arrange payment of this fee. The HEA will fund the remainder of the cost directly to the provider.

The course cost for the Specialist Diploma in Six Sigma is €4,500. Employed participants will get a Springboard+ subvention of €4,050 and will have to make a contribution of €450.

Springboard+ will pay all fees for unemployed and returner participants.

Course Acceptance
In order to accept a course offer employed participants must pay an acceptance fee of €250 to the University of Limerick. This €250 will be deducted from the contribution of €450 as outlined above. The balance of this contribution fee (€200) can be paid at the beginning of Semester 1 in September 2018.

In order to avail of Springboard+ funding you must provide written confirmation as follows:

Written confirmation from the Department of Employ Social Protection (DEASP) 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 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.
Formerly Self-Employed
Provide a letter/statement from Revenue stating that the applicant is no longer trading or a similar letter from the applicants (former) accountant should be sufficient. Swear a declaration, witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths, stating that the applicant is no longer self-employed.

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

Please note you may be required to verify your Nationality and Residency status.

For Returners and Employed/Self-Employed applicants, the following rules apply :
- must be ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.
** Note: The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4.
Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration ( ie you must hold Stamp 4 for three of the five years preceding)