FAQs PG Dip/MSc in SCM

Who is the programme aimed at?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) is aimed at career minded practitioners who work in either Supply Chain, manufacturing or related functions such as quality, engineering, finance, and who have responsibility for continuous improvement within their organisation. It would also suit those who have some experience in Lean or Supply Chain Management, and wish to develop knowledge and skills in these areas. Participants should be in a position to affect organisational change.

What is Lean SCM?

Lean is a philosophy and a systematic approach to eliminating process waste and non-value add activities in core processes. The term Lean popularised the Toyota Production System (TPS). TPS revolutionised process design and management through the use of tools and techniques to systematically reduce waste and add value. Thus Lean does not refer to a ‘lean mean’ approach to business but rather Lean Thinking represents a philosophy, a set of principles and the appropriate use of tools and techniques to reduce waste and add value.It challenges organisational and inter-organisational culture and thus requires a change in thinking along the supply chain (vision and capability). The development of efficient and responsive/agile supply chains, or what is popularly known as Leagile supply chains, has resulted in new innovative business models and challenges organisational-bound processes and systems. Lean supply chain management represents an innovative approach to inter-organisation process design and improvement. Lean programmes seek to educate staff within organisations in the principles and techniques of Lean, so that they are empowered to implement sustainable continuous process improvement.

What is a Black Belt?

A certified Black Belt is a professional who has demonstrated an expert knowledge of Lean enterprise concepts, tools, and practices; and possesses proven team and project leadership, problem solving, and change management skills. A Black Belt understands effective project team dynamics and has the ability to assign relevant team member roles and responsibilities for continuous improvement initiatives. They have a proven ability, use basic and advanced Lean principles to drive improvement, and demonstrate measurable results. A Black Belt has a basic knowledge of Six Sigma philosophies and principles, and can apply the DMAIC model as part of an effective Lean implementation.

What are the benefits of this programme?

Supply Chain Management (SCM) has emerged as a major element in global business, with considerable investment in systems and processes. The opportunities to develop soft skills to support and use these systems and processes exist across a range of industries and organisations. The need for effective and efficient coordination of key business processes is common to all businesses and cuts across functions and operations. While process design and improvement concepts and tools have been traditionally associated with manufacturing operations, considerable opportunities exist in the development of efficient and responsive Lean supply chains. In recent years, many companies in Ireland have expanded their perspective beyond the traditional factory to organisational-wide activities including supply chain management. This programme places a strong emphasis on strategy, leadership, change management, information systems and integrated project management that provides an holistic approach that responds to an ever increasing demand for cost reduction, enhanced service and value-add in the business environment. With a practical application of Lean tools and techniques within the organisational environment, participants will be able to drive the changes necessary for a successful Lean transformation

Is the programme Part-Time or Full-Time?

This programme is a part-time programme delivered over 18 months. Students who are deemed eligible to enter the Masters programme (MSc Supply Chain Management - Lean SCM Black Belt) will have a further 6 months of study

What is the National Framework of Qualification (NFQ)?

The National Framework of Qualifications, the NFQ was proposed through the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999 and launched in 2003. It is a system of ten levels that incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, wherever it is gained. The NFQ, through its ten levels, provides a means of comparing and contrasting national and international education and training qualifications. It helps learners to plan their education and training and employers to identify the qualifications they require. For further information and to see the Framework in action please click here.

What level is this programme on the NFQ?

This programme meets Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. (Please see the NFQ diagram).

Who delivers this programme?

University College Cork, in conjunction with The Leading Edge Group, delivers this Postgraduate Diploma programme – blending academic and practical expertise. The programme is fully accredited by University College Cork.

How is the programme delivered?

This programme is delivered part-time over 18 months and is available in two delivery formats: a Blended Learning Approach and a Distance Learning Approach. The programme consists of three phases. The outcome of each phase will be a set of workplace assignments contributing to the development and implementation of a substantial Black Belt Lean SCM project.

How is the Blended Learning Approach delivered?

The Blended Learning Approach is a blend of classroom activity and on-line resources. In this format on-line resources will be provided prior to workshops in the classroom, with further on-line resources and text books provided after workshops. In total 18 classroom days will support the modules, as outlined below. We are currently running the Blended Learning format.

How is the Distance Learning Approach delivered?

The Distance Learning programme will be supported by on-line resources including tutorials, e-mentoring and discussion forums. We are currently not running the Distance Learning format.

What modules are delivered in the programme?

Currently there are five modules are delivered in the first year of the programme. The first year is divided into two phases: autumn and spring.  The current layout is as below, however, there may be changes to this schedule for 2018 as Semester 1 will begin in January, 2018.

Year 1 (Semester 1):

  • Strategic Planning and Implementation in Supply Chains

  • Advanced Lean Tools and Practices in Supply Chain Management

Year 1 (Semester 2):

  • Leadership and Change Management in Supply Chains

  • Managing Lean Projects in Supply Chains

  • Information Systems and Technologies in supply chain process design and improvement

Two modules are delivered in the second year of the programme. The second year consists of one phase: autumn.

Year 2 (Semester 1):

  • Globalisation Issues

  • Capstone Module Seminars & Workshops.

For further information on module content, please click here.

What is the purpose of completing the Lean SCM Black Belt project?

The purpose of completing a Lean SCM Black Belt is to develop and implement a Lean project that achieves significant sustainable operational and supply chain improvements within the organisation. Hence, the completion of the Lean project delivers significant benefit to the student and their employer.

In what subject areas can the Lean SCM Black Belt project be based?

The Lean SCM Black Belt project will be based on the principles, tools and techniques learned during the Postgraduate Diploma in SCM. The project can be based on a number of areas within the student's organisation deemed appropriate by the student, programme teaching staff, and also, by the student's organisation themselves

What is the progression path leading from the PG Diploma in SCM?

Students who achieve a Second Class Grade I Honour (60%) or higher in the Postgraduate Diploma in SCM are eligible to enter Part 2 of a Masters Programme in Supply Chain Management.  A Masters (MSc Supply Chain Management - Lean SCM Black Belt) will be awarded on the satisfactory completion of a Dissertation. For further information on the MSc Supply Chain Management - Lean SCM Black Belt, please click here.

How does a student attain their Masters (Msc) in SCM?

To achieve the Masters Degree, students who have successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma students are required to complete and submit a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation related to supply chain management, utilising principles and analytical techniques learned during the Postgraduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management. 

Does a student have to attend any MComm seminars?

On identifying the area of research to be undertaken, a student will be assigned a supervisor who will provide one-to-one mentoring. Depending on the research area and the number of students undertaking similar topics, group sessions may be provided.

Are both programmes awarded, Diploma and a Masters?

No, students will convert their Postgraduate Diploma into a Masters Degree, and hence be awarded the MComm (Supply Chain Management - Lean SCM Black Belt).

Does an eligible student undertake a Dissertation or a Thesis?

Students will undertake a Dissertation, which consists of 12,000 to 15,000 words.

Fees for Postgraduate Diploma in SCM (Lean SCM Black Belt)?

Please note that these fees are based on current 2017 fees.  The fee schedule is subject to change in 2018.

The total fee per participant is €10,725*, payable in three instalments.

Fee breakdown:    

Year 1 = €3,575 (Paid in 1 Instalment)

(payable in 2 installments: Y1 Semester 1 + Y1 Semester 2)

Year 2 = €7,150* (payable in two instalments: Y2 Semester 1 + Y2 Semester 2)

Total = €10,725*

Eligible students progressing to the Masters phase of the programme will have to pay a further €3,500*.

* Please note that fees may increase by a samll percentage annually. For a current list of EU Postgraduate Programme Fees click here.


How can the fees be paid?

Fees can be paid either by credit card or by bank giro. For further information on fee payment click here.

Who do I contact if I have a query regarding fees?

General queries will be answered by scm@ucc.ie . Otherwise, the UCC Fees Office will answer any specific queries you may have regarding your fees status, fee payment methods etc. The office is located on the first floor, North Wing, Main Quadrangle. Phone +353 21 4903255 E-mail queries may be made to fees@fin.ucc.ie 

How to apply?

Applications for the Postgraduate Diploma in SCM are made online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). The full procedure is outlined here and PAC FAQs can be found here.

Do I have to pay an application fee?

The online application fee (using a debit or credit card) is €50.00. Paying at a later date is possible, by a debit or credit card costing €50.  There may be a supplement to pay by bank draft. The online application processing fee is payable to PAC and is non-refundable. Note that your application will not be processed until the date the Postgraduate Applications Centre receive your application fee payment (please ensure you secure a certificate of postage when posting your application fee). Payments by Postal Order and Bank Draft should be made immediately after submitting your online application.  If the course does not run you will be offered a full refund of the application fee.

When is the closing date for applications for this programme?

University College Cork is now accepting applications for the Postgraduate Diploma in SCM.  The next cohort is due to commence January, 2018. (This may be extended, so please contact scm@ucc.ie for further info).

What documentation do I need to apply?

If you are a UCC graduate you will need your UCC student number to apply. This means the Graduate Studies Office can access your UCC examination results. If you are not a UCC student you will need to send in official evidence of any third level and/or other professional or vocational qualifications. For this programme you are also required to complete a Supplementary Form, which assesses your Portfolio of Experience. This Supplementary Form should be requested after you online application has been processed. However, applicants can view this Supplementary Form in advance of applications: please click here. Copies of transcripts, official certificates/parchments and the Supplementary Form should be forwarded to the Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway.

When should I expect a response to my application?

You will be able to check on the status of your application at all times by logging on to Postgraduate Application Centre and entering your PAC number and date of birth. Usually offers are made approximately two weeks after the closing date for applications for taught programmes. Applicants are requested to check the status of their application on a regular basis.

When will I find out about registration?

Information on registration, fee payment and start dates will be sent out by email in the beginning of January.

Who should I contact if I have a query about applying?

Any queries relating to applications can be directed to scm@ucc.ie or Ms Aoife Sammon (Programme Administrator) on a.sammon@ucc.ie or 021-4901833 OR Dr. Seamus O'Reilly (Academic Programme Director) on s.oreilly@ucc.ie or 021-4902763. Alternatively, in the situation of annual leave, application queries can be directed to the Graduate Studies Office on 021 4902876 or graduatestudies@ucc.ie

Discipline of Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management Programmes, 2nd Floor, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork