Certificate in Automation Engineering (January 2020)

Waterford Institute of Technology (TBC)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

7 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



Department of Engineering Technology

General Information

Lorraine Quirke/ Dominic O'Brien/Martin Hayes/John Manning






Room A03, SOLLE
Waterford Institute of Technology
Cork Road

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

This course will be delivered over two semesters, beginning in semester 1 with the module Mechatronics 1 introducing the students to PLC hardware and programming and transducer technology. Modules Control Systems and Industrial Automation will be delivered in semester 2 introducing pneumatics, hydraulics, motors, control theory, SCADA and Distributed Control Systems.

The course will run in daytime 'block' mode on Fridays (tbc) from the 7th February 2020 until May 2020 then from 19th Sept 2020 until December 2020.

Entry Requirements

Academic Eligibility

Applicants must hold a major award at level 6 in a relevant engineering discipline as follows:
• Advanced Certificate Craft – Electrical
• Higher Certificate in Electrical Engineering
• Higher Certificate in Electronics
• Higher Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering
• Or a Cognate award

Applicants who do not currently meet the academic entry requirements may wish to consider using WIT's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism. The Springboard RPL form is available at https://www.wit.ie/images/uploads/Education_School_PDF/WIT_RP6_Springboard_RPL_Form.docx
Please complete the form electronically and submit by email along with all supporting documentation such as education and training certificates etc.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details. http://www.wit.ie/about_wit/documents_and_policies/english_language_requirements

Funding Eligibility

Employed people will pay a fee of €150.00 for the course with the Government paying the remaining 90% of the course fee on your behalf. The fee will be payable only at the final stage of the application process when you have been offered a place. The course is fully funded for Jobseekers - please see more information at www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility

Long Description

The Certificate in Automation Engineering [15 Credits at Level 7] is born out of an in-depth 3-way engagement over the past 2 years between:
- a large number of manufacturing companies within the region:
- the South East Regional Skills Forum (SERSF);
- the WIT School of Engineering.

The SERSF has documented a significant shortage in the industrial automation and control engineering skills required to meet the demands of the rapidly changing manufacturing sector in the South East. This area has been identified in the national Skills Bulletin 2018 as one in which there is a pressing skills shortage.

As manufacturing industry transitions towards Industry 4.0 (the term used to describe the “smart factory” era where computers and automation come together via cyber-physical systems to monitor the physical processes of the factory and make de-centralised decisions) there is increased needs for automation and controls systems skills across a broad range of manufacturing staff. This to facilitate day-to-day operations in the emerging modern manufacturing environments but also facilitating employee contribution to lean manufacturing and their preparedness for the ongoing introduction of new technologies in the workplace.

Working closely with the employers in the region, the WIT School of Engineering is at an advanced stage of developing a new BEng (Honours) in Automation Engineering with Data Intelligence degree for CAO entrants. However the School and the employers are also keenly aware of the current upskilling requirements for existing employees. This has led to this Certificate in Automation Engineering [15 Credits at Level 7] and its submission for Springboard funding.

The course is comprised of the following 3 x 5-credit modules:

PLC programming including: timers, counters, data registers and STL programming techniques, with a strong emphasis on providing solutions to typical manufacturing problems. Transducer technology, incorporating the selection and application of transducers for industrial measurement and data acquisition requirements

Control Systems
The module is designed to give students an ability to understand, build and Pneumatic and PLC circuits which are widely used in industry. In addition sensors, transducers and motors are explained. In control systems the focus is on understanding the most widely used control strategies to provide the student with a working knowledge of these areas.

Industrial Automation
The aim of this module is to introduce the student to network topologies, bus types and communication protocols. Scada topologies, PLC, electrical distribution, robotic and factory automation examples are developed by the student in addition to developing examples of Distributed Control Systems topologies, robotic and factory automation.

Timetable Info

The course will run in daytime 'block' mode on Fridays (tbc)

Delivery Notes

Blended Delivery

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorraine Quirke


Room A03, SOLLE
Waterford Institute of Technology
Cork Road





RPL Information


Application Procedures