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Lean Sigma Systems - Masters

Course Details

Award: Master of Science
Qualification: Level 9 Masters (MSc) Delivery:
Blended (combination of on-line and on campus delivery)
2 years
On-campus classes three Saturdays each semester
Start Date: September 2019 Enquiries:

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.

The Programme is 2 years in duration with a prescribed progression route. Generally students will take Lean Systems modules in Year 1 and Six Sigma modules in Year 2 and will also complete an Enterprise Improvement Project/Dissertation in Year 2.

The MSc is designed for those with a responsibility for/or actively engaged in organisational improvement and development through the use or intended use of quality management, lean or six sigma methodologies. The programme is suited to a variety of industry sectors both in manufacturing and services, including the public sector.

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 Specialist Diploma in Lean Systems and/or Six Sigma are eligible for exemptions from those modules on this programme.

  • Master Content to Master Black Belt standard 
  • On-line interactive and non-interactive content
  • Flexible course progression
  • Moderated e-discussion boards
  • On-line & email-tutor support
  • Supplement face-to-face tutorial sessions
  • Peer-supported study groups (on-line and off-line)
  • Work-based project- industrial mentor and academic supervisor
  • Professionally designed learning material

The focus is on application with core elements directly delivered as taught modules and key supporting concepts delivered in a workshop, site visit, or seminar setting.

Semester 01 Semester 02 Summer
  1. Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 1
  2. Leadership and Change Management
  1. Lean Thinking/Lean Tools 2
  2. Lean Systems Project
Semester 03 Semester 04 Summer
  1. Quality Science Statistics
  1. Advanced Quality Statistics
  1. Enterprise Improvement Project
  1. Problem Solving Tools & Techniques
  1. Six Sigma Project

Enterprise Improvement Project:

Programme completion requires a substantial industry based project. The expectation that the project would realise savings of €100,000 for the participant organisation. 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 Student, Supervisor and Company will agree the success metric for the project as part of the topic selection process.

Examples of success metrics could include:

  • the improvement of a specified performance indicator by an agreed amount. 
  • the quantifiable addition of value to process or service which was the focus of the project. 
  • a cost saving of the order of €100,000 which must be verified by the company, or in the case of a Small to Medium Enterprises, (SMEs, <250 employees), project savings must amount to 0.3% of annual turnover. 

An example could be a plant relay out that could result in cost savings through inventory reduction to the value of €100,000, or an increase in machine efficiency by 5%, or a reduction process cycle time by 10%.

The University of Limerick and several leading Irish companies designed this course to meet the standards of a Master black belt. While there is no single authority that issues belts in Lean or Six Sigma the industry group and university carried out extensive research in designing the course to ensure that the course met the general standards that are expected of a black belt holder. Master Black Belt projects are expected to save in the region of €100,000 for their organisation. A Master Black Belt holder is expected to be competent in the tools and techniques to organise and implement a project at this level and to be capable of managing a number of such projects simultaneously for their organisation in a strategic capacity.

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

Delivery is a hybrid of traditional distance education and online learning together with a number of on-campus tutorials (approx. 3 Saturdays per semester). In addition, there are online discussions moderated by a subject matter expert on elements of each module to reinforce the learning and maximise the benefit of the programme for participants.

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 Specialist Diploma in Lean or Six Sigma from U.L, their fee will be reduced accordingly.

Before you apply, you will need to gather documentation. Please visit the How to Apply page to read detailed guidelines on which documents to gather and the application fee. You will also find the application link for your chosen course on the 'How to Apply' page.

N.B. - We recommend that prospective students for any ULearning programmes visit the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. For any queries which are not addressed in the FAQ please do not hesitate to email or call 061 213360.

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