Certificate in Advanced Lean Sigma Quality (Black Belt) (Online)

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Credits 30*
  • Course Code SG_EADVA_E08
  • Award Certificate
  • Duration 1

Course Summary

Six Sigma has become the fastest spreading and most successful approach to Quality across all industries. It is regularly mentioned as a requirement by employers on job advertisements. This 30 credit special purpose award is also mapped to the Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge (BOK) for the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Black Belt award.

Successful candidates will receive a QQI accredited Level 8 Certificate in Advanced Lean Sigma Quality from ATU Sligo. The ATU Sligo Black Belt course meets the requirements specified in the International ISO 13053-1:2011 Six Sigma standard and also the ASQ (American Society for Quality) Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) body of knowledge. A graduate of this programme will be considered a Black Belt in Six Sigma quality.

Note that candidates who require additional external (ASQ) Black belt certification will have to organise this directly with the external provider. More details will be provided during your course of study at ATU Sligo.

The course duration is 1 year. All of the course modules are taken online with live lectures each week. These lectures are also recorded so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.

The Six Sigma black belt project will be undertaken by the student and should address a substantive issue in the workplace. The project will test the student's ability to define a real life problem of concern to the organisation, design a strategy for addressing the problem, gather data, formulate and evaluate options and make recommendations. The project must follow the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology.

It is important that the student leads the Black Belt project team and makes a significant contribution to the success of the project. A financial saving must be identified for a Black belt project. The amount of savings will depend on the size of the company, sales revenue, number of employees and opportunities for improvements.

The project aims to provide students with the opportunity to apply and integrate the skills and knowledge they have gained on the modules they studied at ATU Sligo. These modules are:

  • Statistics
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Experimental Design
  • Quality Management

The student should bring the learning from the modules covered in the course to identifying and leading six sigma projects within their organisation. Black Belts are the leaders in creating project teams, training and mentoring these teams and driving a culture of continuous process improvement within their organisation. An ATU Sligo project supervisor/mentor will be assigned to each project.

The mentor will act as a guide in agreeing the relevance, and scope of the project and monitor the progress on a regular basis.

Key Course Information

The Black Belt programme consists of four taught modules (5 credits each) and a work based Black Belt project (10 credits). The project will be allocated an ATU Sligo supervisor and will be completed over the entire academic year (both semesters).

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

Applicants must possess a Six Sigma Green Belt or equivalent qualification. Applicants must also be in a position to carry out a Six Sigma Black Belt project with an employer. Applicants must have three years’ experience in a manufacturing or service environment.

Career Opportunities

Six Sigma Black Belts are in demand by employers for roles such as:

  • Operational Excellence Specialist
  • Process Excellence Specialist
  • Continuous Improvement Manager
  • Process Improvement Engineer
  • Operations /Manufacturing Managers
  • Quality Directors
  • Lean Six Sigma Specialist
  • Senior Quality Engineers
  • Director Business Process Excellence

Further Study

Graduates who complete this course will have studied the ASQ Black Belt Body of Knowledge material and may sit the externally accredited ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt examination.

Note: For external ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt certification, ASQ requires two completed projects with signed affidavits or one completed project with signed affidavit and three years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge. If the student wishes to gain an additional ASQ certification, then this will have to be organised separately by the student.

The four taught modules, on the Black Belt programme, are already on the existing Level 8 BSc (Hons.) in Quality Management & Technology degree. Eligible candidates, who already possess a full level 7 award, may decide to continue and complete the remaining credits for the BSc (Hons) Quality degree programme.

Note: Only applicants who meet the normal entry requirements for the Level 8 degree programme will be allowed progress to the ATU Sligo's full BSc (Hons) Quality level 8 degree qualification.

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2023/24 Fees


Total Programme Fees:


Fees per annum:


Fees listed for 2023/24 academic year. Fees may be subject to change for 2024/25 academic year. 

Funding Opportunities 

Next Level Skillnet funding may be available to successful applicants who fulfil eligibility criteria. Please email Sue Davies in Next Level Skillnet to find out more information: sue@nextlevel.ie 


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


Course Format

Semester 1

Quality Management05
Statistical Process Control05

Semester 2

Experimental Design05

Semester 3

Project Six Sigma Black Belt10