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Executive/Practitioner Education:

The Diploma in Lean Fundamentals is an online practitioner education programme providing participants with knowledge, know-how, skills, and know-why in the fundamentals of Lean so that they can provide increased value-add and process improvement in their daily activities.

The Diploma in Lean Fundamentals (Online) is a one-year Level 7 programme that is fully delivered online. The programme was developed to meet specified industry needs and is aimed at operative, associate, or administrative level employees requiring knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of Lean. This Diploma is a practitioner programme with participants having diverse backgrounds and experiences and coming from a variety of organisations, sectors, and locations. Such diversity enriches the overall education and learning experience for each participant. The innovative use of work-based learning and an employer-based continuous improvement project enables practical application of knowledge, know-how, and skills acquired on the programme. Overall, the programme provides a balanced approach between the academic and the practical.

Yellow Belt

This Lean Yellow Belt programme was co-designed in collaboration with leading lean practice organisations from across services, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction sectors. A graduate of this programme will be considered a Yellow Belt in Lean. The School of Business, SETU, equates the concept of Yellow Belt to Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Ireland. Graduates will receive a letter from SETU's School of Business stating that their capability equates to a Yellow Belt in Lean standard upon completion of the associated Applied Lean Organisation Project module and assignments to the required level.

Online Programme

This Online learning programme is designed for students who want to study part-time at a pace that matches their work-life balance. Regardless of your physical location, you can connect with SETU subject matter experts in Lean as well as your fellow students.

If you are comfortable using Facebook and YouTube then you will be able to use the technologies and online delivery methods, we use on this online programme enabled by SETU's Learning Management System, including for example, high-quality recordings and discussion forums. Undertaking an online programme is convenient, and you can access learning materials and submit assignments at a time that suits your work schedule. It also removes certain costs associated with traditional learning modes like, for example, eliminating the need to travel to and from lectures.

Technical Specifications

The minimum technical specifications for students undertaking this Online programme include:

  • Broadband: a minimum 2MB broadband connection.
  • Microsoft Windows: Hardware Requirement: x86 or x64 (64-bit mode support for Internet Explorer only) 1.6-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor; 512MB RAM. Browser support is Firefox 3 (or higher), or Google Chrome 37 (or higher).
  • MacOS: Hardware Requirement: Intel Core Duo 1.83-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor; 512MB RAM. Browser support is Safari 3 (or higher), Firefox 3 (or higher), or Google Chrome 37 (or higher).
  • Linux: HTML5 Player: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS and later. PCLinuxOS supported after October 10, 2014. Browser support is Google Chrome 37 (or higher).

Student Supports

SETU Waterford places enormous importance on ensuring you get the most out of our courses, and student support includes:

  • reintroduction to education
  • assigned study tutor
  • peer support systems
  • programme leadership
  • dedicated online learning technical support


  • The course is 90% funded by Government for employed people who will pay 10% of the total programme fee - see more about Springboard here.
  • The course is fully funded for unemployed people and people returning to formal employment - please see
  • Fee Payable by employed people: €510

Programme Overview

This Lean programme is underpinned by SETU’s longstanding reputation for providing relevant, high quality, innovative, and applied business programmes. The SETU Waterford Academy of Lean Enterprise Excellence has attained a national and international reputation for excellence and leadership in Lean executive and practitioner education. Our distinctive approach, the breadth and depth of knowledge acquired, and the practical application throughout, all enable participants to add value to their careers and to their organisations as Lean practitioners and problem solvers. The mission of this programme is to address the current and future needs of industry globally for graduates that possess the competencies necessary to apply the fundamentals of Lean in their daily roles, and to make meaningful contributions to an organisational culture committed to continuous improvement and operational excellence.

Programme Objectives

  • The aims and objectives of this programme are:
  • To inculcate participants in Lean philosophy and its application in a wide range of business contexts.
  • To provide participants a broad base of business skills and knowledge that can be used to advance their ability with respect to the application of Lean principles.
  • To expose participants to critical insight into Lean practice in production and service provision across a range of organisational and sectoral contexts.
  • To embed creative thinking and innovative ability with a cross-functional and silo-free perspective.
  • To further develop and extend the communication and coaching skills of individuals that combine to add value to organisations pursuing the implementation of Lean strategies.
  • To provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques that will enable participants to assist in, deliver, and evaluate Lean projects.
  • To support the professional development of employees in a project management context.
  • To equip participants with a fundamental knowledge of the theories, models, and practices in Lean, together with an understanding of how this integrates within the wider business environment.
  • To develop proficiency in project completion through the application of project management skills to an Applied Lean Organisation Project (ALOP).


Participants will have full access to SETU’s online resources, including Moodle (SETU’s virtual learning environment or VLE), as well as academic databases and other online library facilities. Recommended books and other readings will be provided by each Lecturer for their respective modules.


All modules must be passed and each module is assessed by assignment, incorporating continuous assessment (graded) and formative assessment (un-graded). There are no end-of-term summative examinations.

Semester 1 and Semester 2 modules are all worth 5 Credits each. The ALOP3 is worth 20 Credits and is an organisation-based project wherein participants develop and deliver a real-world improvement project within their organisations. The ALOP is worked on across the entirety of the first year, with deliverables in each of the three Semesters.


Upon successful completion of all 60 Credits, a student is conferred with the qualification of Diploma in Lean Fundamentals from South East Technological University, Ireland.


Programme Outline

This online practitioner programme is delivered over a 12 Month period.


Semester 1:

September through December

Programme Induction

Semester 1 modules

Semester 1 assignments

Semester 2:

January through April

Semester 2 modules

Semester 2 assignments

Semester 3:

May through August

Semester 3 module

Semester 3 assignments

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Programme Structure

Applied Lean Organisation Project 1Applied Lean Organisation Project 2



Applied Lean Organisation Project 3 (20 ECTS)


Lean PhilosophyCreativity & Problem-Solving
Lean OperationsLean Coaching
Lean PrinciplesLean Communications

Each module in Semester 1 and Semester 2 is worth 5 ECTS[1]; and in Semester 3 the Applied Lean Organisation Project 3 is worth 20 ECTS.

The Applied Lean Organisation Project (ALOP) runs throughout the year and is a work-based continuous improvement project enabling participants apply their lean knowledge and skills to a work-related “problem / improvement opportunity”. This practical approach and engaging use of work-based learning ensures that the learning acquired on the programme is realised and applied in real-time, providing concrete benefits to you and to your employer organisation.


[1] The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS):

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Programme Entry Requirements

A Level 6 qualification in any discipline with a minimum of 1 year’s relevant industry experience.

Applicants who do not currently meet the academic entry requirements may wish to consider using SETU's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism. 

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see SETU’s English Language Requirements for details. 


Graduate Testimonials 

Aisling O' Brien - Assistant Commodity Specialist, Health Business Services (HSE)

"The Diploma in Lean Fundamentals has been invaluable to my learning and career progression. Following completion of the programme, I successfully completed a Level 8 degree gaining additional opportunities to further my education and personal development as a result. The course is very enjoyable, and I found the material to be extremely relevant to my own role, while the continuous assessments accommodated different learning styles. An online environment can be challenging but the continuous support of the academic team was fantastic and their enthusiasm for Lean thinking really resonated with me. 

The module delivery is very flexible, and all of the content is recorded which proved to be really useful during busy periods in work. The Applied Lean Organisation Project runs throughout the entire year and I enjoyed being given the opportunity to make improvements within my own workplace. I would highly recommend this Diploma to anyone who has an interest in learning more about continuous improvement methodologies and mindset"   

Graham Hynes – Change Analyst, SSE Airtricity.

“My participation in the Diploma in Lean Fundamentals programme at WIT whetted my appetite to further my education. My studies on this Diploma programme provided me with the confidence to continue my education journey and participate in the Masters in Lean Enterprise Excellence programme at WIT. I greatly appreciate the support provided by the WIT academic team during my studies at WIT”.

Arlene King, Quality Manager, Signiatec Ltd.

“I cannot recommend the Diploma in Lean Fundamentals course enough for those who are looking to upskill and self-develop, but need the flexibility and support that most busy, working adults do. My goal was to strengthen my professional development but due to work and family life I would not have been able to commit to this course if the delivery wasn’t fully online and so flexible – I could learn in my own time when it suited my lifestyle!

The support from the lecturers was incredible and they were always only an email or a call away. They could not have been more helpful or supportive. As the course is mainly a practical one with continuous assessments this made it easier for me to stay on track throughout the year. As a direct result of my undertaking of this course, I am now in a position I love, with lots of opportunities to further develop and utilise my Lean skills!"

Tony McMahon, Operations Manager, Bellissimo Hospitality Group.

I was energized by my participation in the Diploma in Lean Fundamentals programme at WIT due in no small part to the extremely professional content being delivered by the academic team and their significant support throughout. I wasn’t sure how the programme would unfold, but the fact that I could access learning materials at my convenience was a key advantage of the programme.

What also became apparent to me, was that the programme was thought provoking, and was encouraging a bigger learning experience than I had originally expected. This was underpinned by the very high standard of quality course content available in pre-recorded presentations / videos, accompanied with other learning materials.

My background is primarily in Hospitality & Tourism, as an Operations manager. The Diploma in Lean Fundamentals programme proved to be very applicable to my industry and arguably any service industry. I was delighted by how I could utilize some of the Lean tools and methodologies in my business within the working parameters of the assignments, that actually made a great difference on the ground. 

My only regret…. not having done it sooner.

Alan Corr, MSD.

At 51 and having been away from education for many years, I was apprehensive starting in WIT, but my fears were quickly allayed during the programme induction. The lecturers deliver the modules in a very practical but hugely informative manner and are on hand to assist the learner further if required. It is also clear to see they are passionate about the subjects and the success of the learner. Fully online, the Diploma in Lean Fundamentals is delivered flexibly with an emphasis on applied learning and aligns with current industry practise. The delivery, content and support offered make it easy to learn around family and work life. I would highly recommend it.



Course Leader

Mr Aidan Walsh

Lecturer in Management -

Call: +35351845631

Email: [email protected]