Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
September & January
2 years
Masters (MSc)
NFQ Level 9 Major Award
Faculty: Science and Engineering
Course Type: Taught, Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Philomena Kelly
Email: Telephone: +353 (0)61 237770
Name: Elaine.Butler
Email: Telephone: +353 (0)61 237798

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Brief Description

Start Date: September & January

The Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE) has partnered with the University of Limerick (UL) to deliver Ireland’s first apprenticeship at level 9 (MSc): The Master of Science in Strategic Quality Management – Lean Sigma Systems. This programme is run in conjunction with our industry partners.

This Executive Apprenticeship will give you a Master Black Belt level knowledge of theories, methods and improvement techniques based around the philosophy of scientific management, lean thinking and six sigma. This masters programme will prepare the Lean Sigma Manager to apply lean sigma methods in the definition, design, research, development, utilisation, maintenance and cost-control of processes and equipment to deliver products/services, improve qualities and reduce costs of such processes and products/services.

There is a strong focus on integrating the application of the concepts, tools and techniques in the participants’ organisation during the course of the programme. There is significant directed project work applying the lean sigma concepts, which meets the knowledge development, aim of a masters level programme and develop participants’ skills in the field of lean sigma management.

Download our flyer here

Download our employer handbook here 

Developed by industry for industry, this is a work based education programme which supports the development of the Lean & Sigma knowledge base amongst practitioners in organisations. It combines learning in the workplace with learning in a higher education institute. Graduates of this programme will be considered Master Black Belts in Lean and Six Sigma.

How it Works

This two year programme is structured for blended delivery of online learning and face to face sessions which minimizes time ‘off the job’. It includes:

  • Eight days per year for taught elements and project support workshops. 

  • A strong emphasis on directed project work allowing participants to spend more time applying the learning concepts in the context of their own organization. This includes the completion of an Enterprise Improvement Project.

  • A dedicated project coordinator to support participants

  • Six days per year for industry visits to companies who demonstrate excellence in processes and business functions applicable to the programme

  • Participation in a ‘Community of Practice’. This will allow participants to interact and engage in peer-to-peer learning activities around the academic content.

  • Support from an Industry Mentor within the company throughout the apprenticeship.

For Professionals Who

  • Are responsible for or actively engaged in organisational improvement and development through the use of quality management

  • Wish to develop a comprehensive understanding of the theory and practical application of quality management tools and techniques

  • Are continuously exploring ways to bring new technologies into the organisationin order to enhance delivery and keep costs low. Understands the impact of digitization and automation

  • Seek recognition as a Master Black Belt in Lean and Six Sigma

  • Have a degree or considerable industrial experience in the field


Year 1

Leadership & Change Management

Lean Thinking & Lean Tools 1

Lean Thinking & Lean Tools 2

Lean Systems Project

Year 2

Problem Solving Skills & Techniques

Quality Science Introduction

Quality Science Advanced

Six Sigma Project

Enterprise Improvement Project


Community of Practice

Alongside your modules you will be participating in the Community of Practice (CoP). This an integral part of your programme and includes:

  • Company Visits - including uploading your individual and group reports
  • Mentoring - recording your meetings with your mentor
  • Forums


  • Employers must be approved by SOLAS and commit to support the apprentice throughout the programme.

  • Programme participants should hold a NFQ level 8 at minimum level 2.2 in a relevant area. Applicants who have completed a level 8 apprenticeship in a related field are also eligible to apply.

  • Applicants with a lower qualification may also be considered provided they can prove to have considerable industrial experience as well as evidence of the ability to study at Masters Level.

What to Include with your Application
Delays in receiving these documents will affect the progress of your application.

  • 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.
  • A copy of your most recent CV.
  • Applicants who do not have English as their first language may satisfy English Language requirements:
  • 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

    For more information Click Here


Company Registration Process:  No Charge

Online Student Application Fee: €50

Annual Student Fee: €900 

*It should be noted that these fees are subject to change depending on the programme of study and external funders requirements

For further information and how to apply email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.