Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
September & January
1 Year
Professional Diploma
NFQ Level 9 Minor Award
Faculty: Science and Engineering
Course Type: Taught, Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Address: Science & Engineering Flexible Learning Centre Email:

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Register your interest here for more information or to be notified when applications are open.

Brief Description

This programme will open for applications in September 2024 and will be delivered online. Funded places are offered on a first-come first-served basis, but these are limited and are strictly subject to Springboard+/HCI eligibility. Once the funded places have been filled, the course may remain open for those who wish to apply for a self-financed place.

This Lean Black Belt course aims to develop participants' process improvement skills. The diploma will provide education and practical application to a Black Belt level in Lean. The course will enable participating companies gain competitive advantage through the application of Lean principles to drive improvement with measurable results. A company-based project will form a key element of the programme, ensuring the integration of the various concepts in the participants’ workplace. It will provide participants with a practical application of Lean tools and techniques within their own organisation and should display significant improvements for the students’ organisation.

This course is eligible for Springboard funding, for more information Click Here.

This programme forms part of the MSc in Strategic Quality Management Lean Sigma Systems.  Those who have completed this programme may continue on to the MSc. If you are planning to progress to the Masters, please be aware that this is available as an executive apprenticeship with 85% funding. You can find details on the funded Masters programme here

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(M) Microcreds available:
Modules listed within the Programme Content with an (M) beside them are MicroCreds and can be taken independently.

Build Your Master Plan: Stack Your Way to Success: If you are using this Professional Diploma as the final 30 ECTS Credits to stack into our Master of Professional Practice (MPP) you will need to apply via the MPP page HERE.

For Whom

  • The Diploma is aimed at managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians who have responsibility for quality or continuous improvement within their organisations and also those who wish to develop knowledge and skills in the area of Lean systems.
  • Those responsible for or actively engaged in organisational improvement and development through the use of quality management. tools and techniques.
  • Those seeking recognition as a Black Belt in Lean.


How It Works

  • Students are required to take three taught modules over two semesters. In addition to the taught modules, an in-company project will ensure a strong focus on the integration of the concepts tools and techniques in the participant’s organisation during the course of the programme.
  • This course is delivered online but students may be invited on campus for an orientation day (on a Saturday) during their first semester


In Company Project

Completion of this programme requires a substantial industry-based project, to be reported in the form of a management report.  

Lean projects require the application of the concepts covered throughout the programme and carry an expectation of helping participant organisations realise a major benefit. This benefit should be quantifiable in terms of reduction or saving in; defects, over-production, waiting, non-utilised talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and/or extra-processing. 


Black Belt

The University of Limerick and several leading Irish companies designed this course to meet the standards of a black belt. While there is no single authority that issues Black Belts in Lean or Six Sigma, the industry group and university carried out extensive research in designing this course to ensure that the course met the general standards that are expected of a Black Belt holder. 

Successful participants will receive a letter from the University of Limerick stating that their capability is at black belt level. 

Semester 1


Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 1 (M)

The module will explain the concepts behind the Lean tools and will examine the various elements involved in effectively using these tools to support the organisation's Lean transformation.

Leadership & Change Management

This module actively engages students in three key areas of academic study: Leadership, Change Management and Teams.  The module builds on students’ professional and personal experiences while highlighting relevant and influential thinking drawn from the literature.  

Semester 2


Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 2

Expanding the principles, tools and techniques of Lean Thinking/Lean Tools I, the module will look at additional lean tools and the how-to knowledge of tool deployment. 

Lean Project/Lean Healthcare Project

Students will be required to integrate the different aspects of the taught modules and apply the acquired knowledge to a business standard, industry focused Black Belt project.

Further Qualifications

This level 9 Professional Diploma counts as 30 credits toward a Masters in Engineering Practice OR Masters in Strategic Quality Management, Lean Sigma Systems


MSc in Engineering Practice 

Professional Diploma in Lean Systems Other Level 9 Professional Diploma + Thesis

Masters in Strategic Quality Management,  Lean Sigma Systems

Professional Diploma in Lean Systems Professional Diploma in Six Sigma Enterprise Improvement Project 

(M) A MicroCred is a single module within a larger further award (eg. Certificate, Diploma, Masters). By taking a micro-credential you may be eligible to apply for a credit exemption should you progress to study for a further award.


Relevant primary degree (Level 8) or recognised professional qualification and 1-3 years relevant industrial experience.

In the situation where an applicant does not meet the minimum entry requirements above, an offer of a place on the course may be made in exceptional circumstances. The candidate will be required to provide a portfolio of evidence of prior qualifications in quality management together with the application of learning or competence (e.g green/black belt project reports, reflective papers or journals). Two references from appropriate signatories in the candidate’s organisation will be accepted as evidence. Candidates may be required to attend an interview prior to enrolling on the programme.

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, (for Springboard applicants, 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 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


Fee Paying:

EU - €5,250 per annum

Non- EU - €5,250 per annum


Candidates who satisfy the eligibility criteria under Springboard+ can qualify for 90% or 100% funding subject to the availability of places. To clarify eligibility please go to

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.