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 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.
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
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,
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 at 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.