The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date



Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a powerful methodology for achieving process efficiency and effectiveness which results in enhanced customer satisfaction and improved bottom line results. It aims to achieve improvements in the most economical manner possible and is focused on reducing waste in business processes.

This is a Specialist MSc

MSc Lean Six Sigma is a Specialist MSc programme led by academics at the Edinburgh Business School. This Specialist degree gives those who have worked in industry or studied a similar subject previously, the chance to expand, refine and enhance their knowledge. 

This 1-year Masters programme focuses almost entirely on the area of Lean Six Sigma. It blends cutting-edge academic thinking with best practice from industry to give graduates and professionals the opportunity to advance with a highly employable skillset.

The Edinburgh Business School approach

MSc Lean Six Sigma at the Edinburgh Business School aims to develop high-calibre graduates with an in-depth understanding of strategic, tactical and operational issues.

The programme will build understanding of the tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma methodologies and demonstrate the tangible and quantifiable results these bring to the bottom line. Students will learn state-of-the-art concepts, methods, principles, tools and techniques, relating to quality and process improvement for a broad range of organisations, such as manufacturing, service, public sector and third sector, set within a global context.

Students also have the option to be accredited with the Green Belt and Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma (see the Professional Recognition section below for more details).

Programme duration

Mode of Study MSc PG Diploma
Full-time 12 months 9 months
Part-time 24 months 21 months


Green Belt certification

Students successfully completing the MSc Lean Six Sigma for Operational Excellence gain Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from the Institute of Six Sigma Professionals. The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt competence prepares individuals within an organisation to apply Lean / Six Sigma tools and techniques to define, measure, analyse, improve and control processes within any organisational setting irrespective of its nature and size.

Black Belt certification

Upon completion of the MSc students are also offered the opportunity to undertake Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. To achieve Black Belt certification students must undertake a Black Belt project which involves working with a company to resolve a live issue. It is the responsibility of students to identify a company for the project - Heriot-Watt University assists in shaping the scope of the project and provides support during the project. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification is awarded by the Institute of Lean Six Sigma Professionals and Heriot-Watt University. The Black Belt project normally takes 8-12 months to complete.

Course content

Semester 1 (Sept - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma Quality Management & Engineering
Leadership Project Management
Strategic Change Research Philosophy & Practice
One from:
  • Measuring and Managing Performance
  • Strategies for Managing Supply Chains
  • Operations Management
  • Work, Culture & Organisation
One from:
  • Demand & Inventory Planning
  • System Thinking & Analysis

The MSc dissertation is undertaken between May - August.

Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Introduces the principles of Lean Six Sigma thinking, tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma and looks at wider implications of the broader strategic issues of organisation management and how they impact on continuous improvement programme. Also covers Lean Six Sigma methodology, use of statistics to support business and management decisions, and importance of data collection and analysis for process improvements in the context of manufacturing, service and public sector organisations.


Semester 1 (mandatory)

Understand the role of leadership in business, and specifically in commercial projects. Examines the linkages between effective & appropriate leadership and organisational strategy.

Strategic Change

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Looking at organisational change from a strategic perspective, this course differentiates between the concepts and models of change management and consider their application to a variety of situations and environments.

Quality Management & Engineering

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides in-depth understanding of the principles, concepts, tools and techniques of quality management, quality engineering and continuous improvement together with awareness of how in practice these could be integrated to design and deliver an integrated continuous improvement programme. The module also aims to introduce students how to statistically plan, design and execute industrial experiments for process understanding and improvement in both manufacturing and service environments.

Project Management

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Examines monitoring and controlling projects. Develops competence in use of quantitative and qualitative project planning and control tools & techniques.

Research Philosophy and Practice

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.

Academic Lead

Prof Jiju Antony is a Professor of Quality Management here at Heriot-Watt University and is recognised worldwide as a leader in Six Sigma methodology for achieving and sustaining process excellence.

He founded the Centre for Research in Six Sigma and Process Excellence (CRISSPE) in 2004, establishing the first research centre in Europe in the field of Six Sigma. He has authored over 250 Journal and Conference papers and 6 text books. He has also published over 75 journal and conference papers and 3 text books on Six Sigma topic alone and is considered to be one of the highest in the world.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society(UK), Fellow of the Institute for Operations Management (UK), Fellow of the American Society for Quality (USA) and a Fellow of the Institute of the Six Sigma Professionals. He has recently been elected to the International Academy of Quality and is the first one to be elected from Scottish Higher Education Sector. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and has delivered Lean Six Sigma training to over 800 people in the past 8 years, from local companies in the UK to currently coaching and mentoring over 20 Lean Six Sigma projects from various companies ranging from manufacturing, service to public sector organisations including NHS, City Councils and University sector.

He is currently serving as the Editor of the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma launched in 2010 by Emerald Publishers and is the Chair of the International Conference on LSS. He has been a keynote speaker for various conferences around the world and is a regular speaker for ASQ’s Lean Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix, USA. Professor Antony has worked on a number of consultancy projects with several blue chip companies such as Rolls-Royce, Bosch, Parker Pen, Siemens, Ford, Scottish Power, Tata, Thales, Nokia, Philips, GE, Nissan, Diageo, and a number of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class) or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)


Tuition fees for entry
Status* Full-time Part-time Per course
UK / EU £7400 £3700 £925**
Overseas £16400 £8200 £2050**

* If you are unsure which residency status category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

** Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.

The fees shown are for one year only and may be subject to an increase each year. Our fees for September 2021 will be available shortly.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.