Course Details

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: ulearning
Address: University of Limerick Email: Telephone: 061 213360

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Express Interest

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

Brief Description

This programme is now closed for applications. Please fill out the expression of interest form to be contacted when applications re-open

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.

Start date: 22nd August 2022

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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 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. 

  Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1

Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 1

Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 2


Leadership & Change Management

Lean Project/Lean Healthcare Project
Year 2

Quality Science Statistics

Problem Solving Tools & Techniques

Advanced Quality Science Statistics

Advanced Quality Science Statistics

Summer Enterprise Improvement Project


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.


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


The cost of the programme is €14,000. This is payable in 4 equal instalments of €3,500 over 4 semesters. There are 2 semesters per year. If an applicant has previously completed a Professional Diploma in Lean or Six Sigma from U.L, their fee will be reduced accordingly.

This programme is also offered under Generation Apprenticeship, up to 80% of fees will be covered for those who apply under the apprenticeship route. For further information, please email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.