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Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) (PG Dip)


Programme Description

The Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) is a part-time course. It is designed to teach you how to improve supply chain processes, while also providing cost reductions and added value for you and your organisation.

If you are a career-minded person who works in supply chain, manufacturing, quality, financial or related functions and you also have responsibility for continuous improvement within your organisation, this course is for you.

Successful supply chain management (SCM) requires strategic and operational alignment, and this is why the course includes:

  • a strong emphasis on strategy
  • information systems
  • demand management
  • change and innovation
  • integrated project management

Adopting a Lean philosophy, you will apply Lean tools and complete a Lean SCM Black Belt project that achieves organisational and supply chain improvements. 

The Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) is a practitioner-oriented course. It provides a structured approach to the key elements of supply chain design and management in order to maximise your work experience. The course is informed by best international practice and it includes contributions from our applied partners the Leading Edge Group, as well as fromnational and international guest speakers.

The course is delivered over two stages:

Stage 1:

The duration of stage 1 is 18 months and it leads to a postgraduate diploma qualification.

Stage 2:

Stage 2 is for a further period of six months. If you achieve a 2.1 grade in stage 1, you may progress/convert to a master’s degree.

It consists of seven modules (as outlined below) and the outcome of each module is a workplace assignment contributing to the development and implementation of a substantial organisational and SCM improvement project. This course is examined wholly by continuous assessment and there are no written examinations.

Year 1 (Semester 1):

  • Strategic planning and implementation in supply chains (three days in classroom and e-learning)
  • Advanced Lean Tools and practices in supply chain management (three days in classroom and e-learning)

Year 1 (Semester 2):

  • Leadership, change and innovation management in supply chains (three days in classroom and e-learning)
  • Managing Lean Projects in supply chains (three days in classroom and e-learning)
  • Information systems and technologies in supply chain process design and improvement (one and a half days in classroom and e-learning)

Year 2 (Semester 1):

  • Globalisation issues and Capstone Module seminars and workshops (four and a half days in classroom and e-learning)

Year 2 (Semester 2) – Optional:

  • Master’s (Dissertation)

Progression: If you achieve a 2.1 or higher in the Postgraduate Diploma in SCM, you will be eligible to enter stage 2 and this course leads to a Master of Supply Chain Management. A master’s (MSc) will be awarded on the satisfactory completion of a dissertation.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Why Choose This Course

This Postgraduate Diploma/Masters in Supply Chain Management will allow you to progress your education while you also further your career. At the same time it will provide benefits and opportunities for the organisation where you work.

For student testimonials:

Skills and Careers Information

Leadership and analytical skills to drive organisational change. Focuses on hard/technical skills associated with Lean implementation. Develops soft skills to support and use organisational systems/processes across a range of industries with transferable skills, including:

  • communication skills
  • research skills
  • conceptual skills
  • organisational/management skills.

Our career-minded students come from many business environments, including:

  • healthcare
  • medical devices
  • food and drink
  • financial services
  • life sciences.

Snapshot of participating companies

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Describe supply chain concepts and how activities interact within supply chains.
  • Identify the principles and benefits of Lean Thinking and how these are applicable to supply chain management.
  • Apply tools and techniques to achieve optimal value improvements in supply chain processes.
  • Employ best practice Continuous Improvement deployment methodologies in Lean SCM Black Belt project work.
  • Assess competition drivers and evaluate their impact on supply chain strategy and configuration.
  • Evaluate strategic alignment at intra and inter-organisational levels.
  • Assess the implications of leadership and change management approaches and techniques and how they impact on any lean implementation and supply chain management.
  • Resolve the complexities inherent in organisation-wide and supply chain projects and lead Lean teams.
  • Develop a suitable strategy for implementing Lean to achieve sustainable supply chain improvements.
  • Reflect on, evaluate and apply learning in work/practice contexts.


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Practicalities & Assessment

Adopting a Blended Learning Approach, on-line resources will be provided prior to workshops, with further on-line resources provided after workshops. Each module will be supported by a 3-day workshop. 


You will be examined wholly by continuous assessment on this course. There are no written examinations.

In each module you will have to complete an applied written project.

For a 10 credit module, this will consist of approx 4,500 words.

For a 5 credit module, it will consist of approx 3,000 words.

A Lean SCM Black Belt project has to be implemented at the end of the Postgraduate Diploma.

The Capstone Module will allow you to present your findings through oral presentations, a poster session and a written report.

If you progress to the master’s stage of the course, you will be required to complete a dissertation (13,000-15,000 words).

Who teaches this course

Our core teaching staff have extensive experience of teaching to a wide variety of students including undergraduates, postgraduates, mature students and post-experience/adult learners. This course is delivered in conjunction with practitioner partners, and hence it combines academic and practical expertise. The course also benefits from the involvement of best-in-class practitioners, both national and international, which enhances our overall interaction with industry.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Year 1

  • Information Systems and Technologies in Supply Chain Process Design and Improvement

    Year 1

    Information Systems and Technologies in Supply Chain Process Design and Improvement (IS6401)

    The development and alignment of supply chain strategic goals and inter-organisational team capability requires the development of appropriate information systems and is enabled through leading edge technologies. This module addresses the role of Informat

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  • Advanced Lean Tools and Practices in Supply Chain Management

    Year 1

    Advanced Lean Tools and Practices in Supply Chain Management (MG6200)

    Lean Thinking represents a philosophy, a set of principles and the appropriate use of tools and techniques. This module focuses on the role of a 'Black Belt' (i.e. a Lean expert at Black Belt level) in promoting these principles and using these tools acr

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  • Managing Lean Projects in Supply Chains

    Year 1

    Managing Lean Projects in Supply Chains (MG6201)

    A Black Belt instructor champions Lean projects and supports Green Belts. The objective of this module is to outline and discuss a Continuous Improvement strategy deployment and apply lean project management tools and techniques

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  • Strategic Planning and Implementation in Supply Chains

    Year 1

    Strategic Planning and Implementation in Supply Chains (MG6202)

    Lean supply chain management requires strategic alignment along the chain and thus its success is dependent on understanding the competitive environment and the development and implementation of key shared strategic goals. Therefore, the development and

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  • Leadership and Change Management in Supply Chains

    Year 1

    Leadership and Change Management in Supply Chains (MG6203)

    A Lean philosophy changes organisation and inter-organisational culture and thus requires a change in thinking along the supply chain (vision and capability). This module aims to provide the Black Belt Lean Instructor with the people skills needed to cre

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Year 2

  • Globalisation Issues - Food and Bioprocess Supply Chains

    Year 2

    Globalisation Issues - Food and Bioprocess Supply Chains (FE6201)

    Globalisation presents many challenges and opportunities. This module uses food/bioprocess cases to identify key factors influencing global supply chains and evaluates various global supply chain strategies.

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  • Capstone Module Seminars, Workshops and Lean Black Belt Project

    Year 2

    Capstone Module Seminars, Workshops and Lean Black Belt Project (MG6204)

    The development and implementation of a Lean philosophy at supply chain level requires the ability to integrate strategic vision and operational capability. This module highlights the complexities involved in the development of supply chain strategies an

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For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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Entry Requirements

You should have:

1.  A minimum 2H honours primary degree in a relevant area and at least four years relevant industrial experience (including cross-functional team lead experience),


A portfolio of evidence containing the following:

  • at least six years of relevant management experience, including responsibility for teams and cross-functional/supply chain teams
  • a recognised professional qualification in a relevant area
  • application of learning or competence such as involvement in cross-functional projects, reports, reflective papers or journals


2.      testimonials of learning or competence through sign-off by an appropriate signatory within the candidate's organisation.  Applicants must be in a position to affect organizational change.

Note:A foundation module to the value of 5 credits will be provided to candidates who do not have a prerequisite background in this area.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact

International students contact

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: SupplementaryFormCKJ03 (28kB)

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here




Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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Participant Companies - PG Dip SCM

Below are companies who have participated since its launch.