Six Sigma (Specialist Diploma) (Distance Education) (January 2020)

University of Limerick (21SDQMSSTDB)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Classroom - Daytime, Distance


Part Time

ECTS Credits



Ulearning, Science & Engineering

General Information

Ask for a Springboard+ Co-ordinator



061-202605 or 061-234379


Graduate & Professional Studies
Enterprise Research Centre
University of Limerick
V94 T9PX


Springboard+ Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Applications for this course are now closed. The closing date for applications was Friday 15th November 2019. Please note we are not accepting any further applications. Those who have already applied will be notified if they have been successful in the coming weeks.

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. There are 3 tutorials dates per semester which take place on Saturdays. Dates (if available) are detailed in the 'Timetable Info' section below.

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.

Please note we will need to correspond with you by email throughout the application process. For this reason, we ask that you regularly check your email and spam folders.


When students have finished this course they will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, implement, monitor and control 6sigma activities at both operational and strategic levels in an organisational setting.
2. Explain the business process improvement methods and implementation tools of 6sigma.
3. Present a professional 6sigma plan to peers with the potential to eliminate process variation and/or add value to a process within
their chosen project organisation or field.
4. Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, monitor, and implement a 6sigma activity at an operational level within an
5. Outline a plan to monitor and implement a 6sigma activity at a strategic level within an organisation.

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.

Due to the mathematical nature of the content 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

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 tangible 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.

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.

SEMESTER 1 (Autumn 2019)
AU5051 Problem Solving Tools and Techniques
MS5441 Quality Science Introduction
CA4003 Career Development

SEMESTER 2 (Spring 2020)
MS5432 Quality Science Statistics Advanced
MS5452 Six Sigma Project

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 unemployed/returner springboard participants in continuing to seek work with allows them to complete the programme when they find employment.

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 with 6 ects.

Timetable Info

Tutorial dates for semester 1 of this course are:
25th January
22nd February
4th April

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.

Delivery Location

University of Limerick

Delivery Notes

Blended Delivery - on campus (as per Saturday dates in timetable section) plus online work

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Ask for a Springboard+ Co-ordinator


Graduate & Professional Studies
Enterprise Research Centre
University of Limerick
V94 T9PX


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+ 2019 will be managed by Graduate and Professional Studies as part of the application process. Graduate & Professional Studies 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

After submitting your Springboard+ application, once eligibility is checked, you will be invited to apply to the University of Limerick directly. Eligible Springboard+ applicants will be sent this link in a separate email and may take a few days after your application is updated to 'pending' on the Springboard+ website.

Please note we will need to correspond with you by email throughout the application process. For this reason, we ask that you regularly check your email and spam folders.

Required Documents for UL application
Delays in receiving these documents will affect the progress of your application.
Further details:
- Photo or Scanned original copy of your transcripts for all years of study. (Graduates of UL need only provide us with their Student ID number.)
- Photo or Scanned copy of passport to verify ID and full legal name.
- Digital quality head and shoulders photograph.
- A copy of your most recent CV, please note that by providing this document you are agreeing that we may send it to members of industry if you require assistance when searching for an Industry Learning Placement (ILE) or project work (applies to some courses only).
- Applicants who do not have English as their first language may satisfy English Language
• If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate

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.

Employed participants are required to pay a 10% contribution fee of €450 directly to the University of Limerick.

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 2.

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)