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, Online
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Address: Science & Engineering Flexible Learning Centre Email:

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Brief Description

Start Date: September & January

The course will create graduates that understand the theory and practical application of quality management tools and techniques, with particular emphasis on the areas of Lean and Six Sigma as they would apply to their own organisation. It will educate and train participants in specific quality management skills in both the lean and six sigma domains and in strategic and transferable business skills. A graduate of the programme will be considered a Master Black Belt in Lean and Six Sigma.

This Masters programme is also available as an apprenticeship with up to 80% fees paid by SOLAS & HEA. To find out more about whether you are eligible for apprenticeship funding, please see 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.

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


How It Works

  • The course is delivered over 2 years with a prescribed progression route.   

  • Students complete 6 taught modules, 2 work based projects (one in lean and one in six sigma) and an Enterprise Improvement project/dissertation  

The Masters in Strategic Quality Management, Lean Sigma Systems is a 2 year programme, but applicants who have already completed either or both Specialist/Professional Diplomas in Lean and/or Six Sigma at the University of Limerick can apply to be enrolled directly to Year 2 of the Masters and complete within one year.  


Enterprise Improvement Project

Completion of the MSc programme requires a substantial industry-based Enterprise Improvement Project (EIP), to be reported in the form of a Journal Article.  The EIP requires the application of the concepts, tools and techniques of both lean and six sigma covered throughout the programme and carries an expectation of helping participant organisations realise a significant benefit that impacts their strategic and operational direction. 

This benefit should be clearly stated in the project scope and with a specific target around process optimisation that aims to reduce process defects and waste, and to provide a framework for culture change.    


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 Masters Black Belt holder. 

Successful participants will receive a letter from the University of Limerick stating that their capability is at Master Black Belt level. 

Year 1


Semester 1

Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 1

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

This module will expand the principles, tools and techniques of Lean Thinking/Lean Tools I and 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.



Semester 1

Quality Science Introduction (M)

Introduces the concept of Quality Science, and provides a broad foundation in the statistical methods and statistical thinking that form the basis of the Six Sigma process.  It will provide the statistical skills necessary to visualise and interpret data for better decision making.


Problem Solving Tools and Techniques (M)

This module aims to understand the principles, tools and techniques of Six Sigma and how they can be implemented in the manufacturing and service sectors to deliver strategic objectives.

Semester 2

Quality Science Advanced

This module will provide a detailed understanding of the key features of experimental design from theory, through construction, to application and will develop student understanding of designed experiments to Six Sigma Black Belt level. 


Six Sigma 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.


Enterprise Improvement Project

Building on the content of the Lean and Six Sigma project modules in year 1 and year 2 respectively, the students will produce a substantial piece of work that will demonstrate that they have developed intellectual insight into the subject of lean sigma systems and an understanding of the theories from various disciplines as they apply.


Note on programme routes

  There are a number of routes through the Masters in Strategic Quality Management, Lean Sigma Systems.

  • Enrol directly and complete within a two year timeframe  OR
  • Having completed either the Professional Diploma in Lean Systems OR the Professional Diploma in Six Sigma, be enrolled directly to Year 2 of the Masters and complete the remaining modules in one year (in tandem with the Enteprise Improvement Project/Thesis) OR
  • Having completed both the Professional Diploma in Lean Systems AND the Professional Diploma in Six Sigma be enrolled directly to Year 2 of the Masters and complete the Enterprise Improvement Project/Thesis in one year.

(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.

Applicants require a 2.1 degree (NFQ level 8) in any discipline or equivalent and at least three years relevant work experience.

Applicants who have completed the Professional Diploma in Lean Systems and/or Six Sigma are eligible for exemptions from those modules on this 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.
  • 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


Full fees for the MSc programme are €14,000. Fees for direct entry to year two are €8,750, and fees for entry to year two (thesis/EIP only) are €3,500

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.