BEng (Hons) in Polymer Processing (Online)

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Credits 60
  • Course Code N/A
  • Award Honours Degree Addon
  • Duration 2

Course Summary

Programme Code: SG_EPOLY_K08

Use of polymers for a variety of engineering, medical-device, pharmaceutical, and general consumer applications continues to grow. With this is a continuous impact on the environment. The honours degree in Polymer Processing (Level 8) continues on from the main polymer streams of study identified in the level 7 programme. It focuses on the processes and analysis, design of tooling used in relation to polymers as well as the impact on the environment and the processes for recycling. Candidates completing the B Eng Level 8 in Polymer Processing meet the requirements of the internationally-recognised Six Sigma Black Belt Award. Candidates can attain this award in addition to their degree by passing an external Black Belt exam with the completion of an optional project.  

About this Programme

BEng (Hons) in Polymer Processing goes approaches engineering through an advanced lens. The programme attends to continued engineering training thorough modules of Statistics and Statistical Process Control, further quality control learning though modules of Experimental Design and Quality Management, and advanced polymer science through modules Polymer Recycling, Plastic Part Design, Injection Mould Design, and Advanced Polymer Processing & Analysis. Furthermore, the course might contribute to a Black Belt Award in Six Sigma (pending further external examination of the candidate). At last, the module Project Thesis allows the student an individual project execution in the scope of either applied quality control within industry, or academic research methodology application. A well-rounded professional is expected at the end of this course. This programme was jointly developed by the Institute of Technology, Sligo, and First Polymer Training SkillNet.

In this programme the participants learn to analyze various polymer processes (including injection moulding, blow moulding, and extrusion), and factors in the detailed design of tooling for these processes. The course also presents modules that are relevant to recycling and reuse of polymer materials and management modules relating to Six Sigma methodology.

Key Course Information

Study hours: Whether you are studying part-time online, blended or full-time online, it is very important that you allocate enough study time to your online course to stay focused, reduce stress and achieve your goals. For part-time online or blended learning, it is recommended that you should try to allow for 5-6 hours per week per 5 credit module to your studies.   

Live Lectures: Live lectures normally take place between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Thursday but this may vary depending on the availability of specific lecturers. Students studying the BEng (Hons) in Polymer Processing are expected to attend 2-4 online lectures a week that last approximately 1 hour. If the Live Classroom scheduled times for the live online lectures do not suit you, recordings will be made available through Moodle. Lectures are delivered online in the evenings.

Assessments: Assessment depends on the module and its content’s nature, but commonly the student is assessed continuously through the academic year. This approach allows for critical thinking over the learning process, progressive assimilation of content, and grading spread through the year without the pressure of final exams that carry 100% of the marks.

Examinations: For Examinations, students may have to attend at the ATU campus through which they completed their studies. For some programmes it may be possible for the Exam to be taken remotely via online proctoring. ATU Students resident in the Republic of Ireland will be invited to attend exams at an exam centre located in Ireland. Students’ resident outside of Ireland or with exceptional circumstances may be eligible to attend remotely via online proctoring, where examinations are taken online and supervised virtually, subject to availability.

On-Campus Attendance: There is a requirement to attend two-days of practical lab work per semester. There is also an additional one-day attendance in Athlone (First Polymer Training) for each semester, which is mandatory.

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

Level 7 BEng in Polymer Processing, Polymer Engineering or a related discipline. Graduates who have not obtained this minimum may incorporate other equivalent qualifications and relevant work experience and apply for assessment via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. RPL is a process that may allow you to gain admission to a programme or to receive exemptions/ credit for some parts of the programme based on demonstrated learning that you may have achieved through another programme of study or through your work or career. Further information is available our dedicated RPL portal or by contacting our admissions team at .

Career Opportunities

Typically, graduates will be employed in polymer processing in the engineering, medical device, pharmaceutical or materials recycling sector. Successful graduates from this programme may apply for the Masters degree (Level 9) in the BSc (Hons) in Quality Management and Technology, which are offered online by ATU Sligo, or for related polymer programmes from other providers. 

The course was designed in partnership with First Polymer Training and the Technological University of Shannon (former Athlone IT), aiming to attend the needs of the Irish industry. Irish Business and Employers Confederation, through its section Polymer Technology Ireland, serves as the bridge between our academic expertise and the particular demands from the Irish industry. At the end of the course, the graduate is apt to pursue an entry and mid-level positions in the polymer, automotive, medical devices and pharmaceutical industry, in a manufacturing, quality or research & development capacity.

Further Study

Successful graduates from this programme may apply for the master’s degree (Level 9) in the BSc (Hons) in Quality Management and Technology, which are offered online by ATU Sligo, or for related polymer programmes from other providers.

Did you know?

Market: There is currently a shortage of polymer technicians in the industry and this shortage has been highlighted in both the Forfas/Expert Group on Future Skills Needs report on the Future Skills Requirements of the Manufacturing Sector to 2020 ( and the Action Plan for Jobs 2013. 

Support: The course is design for those committed to achieve an engineering degree. You will have all sorts of support at your disposal: academic writing, maths, engineering, and special learning are just some of the support centres ready to help. 

Skills: The successful completion of this programme will allow entrants to gain the necessary technical skills to help secure employment in the plastics manufacturing, medical device industries as a technician/apprentice technician in polymer processing. The course aims to form advanced professionals with critical thinking and problem solving skills. Special focus will be given to quality control & management, polymer science & rheology, Injection and Extrusion moulding. 

Six Sigma: Candidates completing the BEng Hons in Polymer Processing (NFQ 8) meet the requirements of the internationally-recognised Six Sigma Black Belt Award. Candidates can attain this award in addition to their degree by passing an external Black Belt exam with the completion of an optional project. 

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees

Total Programme Fee: €8,400

Students can avail of a 30% reduction on fees via your employer - Contact Catherine Collins at First Polymer Training Skillnet
Tel: 090 647 1223


To help make the payment of fees more manageable for students who are self-funding their studies, tuition fees can be paid through payment instalment plans at ATU Sligo. For further information on instalment plans, please visit our Fees and Funding webpage

If you apply and are approved for an online course at ATU Sligo, you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €250 to secure your place. Your deposit will then be credited against the course fees once you are registered as a student. Students at ATU Sligo are also eligible to claim tax relief at the standard rate for tuition fees.

For further information and guidance about Fees and Funding for online and part-time courses at ATU Sligo, click here.

If you are seeking to take your exams online, and you meet the eligibility criteria (overseas students and those with extenuating circumstances), an additional examinations fee will apply. For further information, please visit our Examinations webpage