• Curriculum focused on emerging subject area of Automation and Control Technology
  • Delivery via blended learning
  • Medium-term up-skilling for career advancement and/or re-skilling for career change or specialisation
  • Entry requirement of Science or Engineering Diploma or higher


September 2020

Closing Date:

Round 1    Sunday, May 24, 2020

Round 2    Sunday, June 21, 2020

Round 3    Sunday, August 9, 2020

Review dates for applications

What Type of Course is it?

Automation is everywhere, in our kitchens, cars, leisure centres and workplaces and we take automated appliances for granted. Automation is used in factories to transport and store goods, machine and assemble products, communicate design specifications and provide real-time communications through the use of complex networks of sensors, actuators and controllers.

The Specialist Diploma in Automation and Control is offered in response to the obvious requirement for training in this area to service the regional Galway medical devices cluster and the nationally identified skills need. It is also designed to meet national skills needs in a range of sectors such automation and supply chain management. Both the curriculum and delivery model were developed in consultation with local industries who continue to have input in both development and delivery.

This one-year, part-time Diploma course delivered via blended learning aims to develop knowledge around the issues and opportunities associated with Automation & Control Technology.

How Will I Benefit?
This course is intended for those who wish to improve their skills in the areas of engineering materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and composite materials; manufacturing processes, both traditional and recently developed and electronic manufacturing technologies.

It will assist those who want to apply correct design principles to engineering components, to develop a knowledge of Jig and Fixture design for Manufacturing Systems, and to develop the ability to produce high quality engineering drawings on a CAD system.

On completion of the course participants will have highly marketable, up-to-date and confidence-building knowledge and skills relevant to the areas of Automation and Control. They will have practiced and been assessed on a range of technical and transferable skills which will be beneficial at the personal, enterprise and community levels.

If graduates so wish they can progress to the B.Sc. in Science & Technology Studies (NQF level 8) with credit for their studies. In this case they will be exempt from one elective stream in the Degree cycle.

Learning Outcomes

The two Automation modules give an overview of how automation has become important for industry, and the key strategies adopted by industry to deploy automation in order to improve competitiveness. Automation is used to improve a number of key performance indicators. The modules examine these in detail, and describe tangible and quantifiable goals for various automation projects.

Manufacturing technology provides the means for industry to manufacture and supply products to meet the needs of modern society. The manufacturing technology module in this course covers:

  • Engineering materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and composite materials
  • Manufacturing processes, both traditional and recently developed
  • Electronic manufacturing technologies

The learning outcomes of the Machine Design module are

  • To apply correct design principles to engineering components.
  • To develop a knowledge of Jig and Fixture design for manufacturing systems
  • To develop in the students the ability to produce high quality engineering drawings

The course is offered over one academic year (September to May) on a part-time basis. Two taught modules are complete each semester (September to December and January to May) while the project is completed over the academic year.

Blended Learning
The course is delivered by blended learning on a part-time basis. Candidates will receive learning materials in both online and in hard copy format for each module. Materials will be specifically designed for independent study and will be supplemented by supporting reading material and interactive learning resources where appropriate. The course requires attendance on campus for approximately 10 hours per module, or one Saturday every month between September and May. Between campus visits you will interact with tutors and peers via an online learning system.

The four taught modules are:

  • Automation 1 and 2
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Machine Design

A project topic in the area of the minor award will be chosen by the student in consultation with their supervisor (and industry mentor if appropriate). The project will require the application of the concepts learned through the taught modules. The student will submit a project proposal, literature review and final report structured in the form of a journal article. Module assessment will examine the selection, justification, planning, implementation, analysis and reporting of the project.


Assessment is through assignments, written examinations and in some cases practical laboratory sessions. Exams take place at the end of each semester. All modules from the programme will be individually assessed.

By providing the relevant skills and training this course will seek to address the critical shortage in skills in the area of automation and machine control, supply chain management and manufacturing processes.

A range of nine cross-enterprise skills highlighted by stakeholder industries as particularly important have been incorporated into the course design and will be explicitly practiced and assessed. These are:

  1. Problem-solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Decision-making
  4. Oral communication
  5. Written communication
  6. Teamwork
  7. Networking
  8. Customer-centric thinking and
  9. Creativity & Entrepreneurship

The fees for the course are €2,060 for E.U students and 2,560 euro for non-E.U students. This fee includes:

  • Registration
  • Tuition fees
  • Course materials
  • Examinations and assessments


Scholarship for Social Welfare Recipients

The Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development in NUI Galway offers a fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance, One-parent family allowance, Disability allowance, Community Employment Scheme or signing for social insurance contribution credits. A separate application form applies and is available in the Apply Online section on this site.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed the Diploma in Science & Technology Studies or a related Diploma or higher qualification.

Alternative Entry

Applicants may use experience in addition to academic qualifications to demonstrate that they satisfy the course prerequisites.

Your next step in participating in the Specialist Diploma in Automation & Control is to complete an online application form. You will find this form in the Application Forms section of this web site.

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis via our system of Offer Rounds to facilitate decision making and early notification to applicants throughout the year. Applications will open on April 6, 2020.

  • Supporting documents include form of ID (birth cert/passport/drivers licence) and transcript of exam results obtained