Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Polymer Materials (Springboard)

Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Polymer Materials (Springboard)

Course Overview

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Why take this course?

The proposed programme is a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Polymer Materials at Level 9. The target enrolment is for personnel who are working or unemployed and targeting employment in sectors utilising polymeric materials such as the medical device, automotive and aerospace industries. An understanding of advanced polymers Is vital for the design and manufacture of complex devices, and increasingly, this knowledge is playing a key role in the design for recyclability of such devices.

Polymer technology is a growing industry in Ireland with the number of companies rising to 230 which boasts an annual turnover of €2.1 billion. This has driven strong jobs growth of 7.7% in the past couple of years with 7,000 now working across Ireland with major hubs in Athlone, Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Dublin, Cork and Waterford.

The high-tech polymer industry is a driver of innovation in the medtech, ICT, biopharma, agri-food and automotive sectors. As well as being an industry of regional significance, the polymer sector is making a global impact with 77% of sales exported worth €1.62 billion annually. (polymer Technology Ireland - IBEC)
Students will undertake modules through an online learning approach. Course delivery and assessment of students will be achieved through a combination of delivery formats including online “webinar” style lectures/tutorials, as well as online labs. Continuous support will be offered to the students through the Institute’s virtual learning environment, Moodle, where students will have access to lecture and tutorial content and to additional resources that will aid them with their learning. As all lectures are recorded, the student does not have to attend the live lecture. Follow up questions can be emailed to the lecturer or posted to the Forums on Moodle.

Lectures will be delivered online each week and the student will be required to attend labs and practicals in AIT over two separate 4 day blocks (4 consecutive days in Semester 1, 4 consecutive days in Semester 2) to gain hands on experience with advanced material characterisation and processing equipment. The flexible approach of delivery of the programme will allow for greater participation, particularly for those who are employed. The student will also have to carry out an Industrial Project focused on applied skills, either through their own employment or through a partner company. A range of companies have offered to support programme delivery through guest lectures, use of equipment and also in demonstrating examples of best practice.

What will I experience?

The course will equip learners with knowledge of advanced polymer materials for manufacturing areas such as the medical device, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. Graduates will be prepared to specify, work with and test polymer materials in addition to gaining hands on process knowledge and an appreciation for new and emerging materials and process methods. Graduates will be eligible to progress to a Master of Science in Advanced Polymer Materials via the completion of a supplementary thesis.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Polymer graduates find employment in advanced manufacturing industries across Ireland and internationally. Typical roles include process engineers, New product development engineers, material scientists and Research and development engineers in Medtech, Pharma, Automotive and Aerospace companies.

Note: Registered Springboard + students will also be able to attend specific career workshops in the Athlone Institute of Technology on the following Saturdays throughout the year covering, CV writing, interview techniques, career planning and job profiling:

Sem I: Saturday 19th Oct and Saturday 16th Nov (9.30am – 5pm)

Sem II: Saturday 22nd Feb and Saturday 21st March (9.30am – 5.00pm)

In addition, the Institute through the Department of Lifelong Learning also offers free academic writing workshops and IT skills workshops throughout the year. Dates for these will be issued early in term.

This is addition to a range on online supports covering such topics.

Course Details

Course Commencement Date:

Duration (Number of Weeks) : Sem 1: 12 weeks, Sem 2: 12 Weeks

Days of Week and Times: Friday Afternoon

Saturday Dates: N/A

Course Award:
Postgraduate Diploma
Course NFQ Level:
Level 9
Dept of Mechanical/Polymer Engineering
Minimum Entry Requirements:

A level 8 award in an engineering / science discipline or a level 8 award in any discipline with 2 years of relevant work experience in a manufacturing environment.

Those that do not have the requisite academic qualifications may gain entry to the programme via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in accordance with the institute’s policies

Course Structure

Year 1

Polymer Materials I Topics include; Advanced engineering materials, Recycling

Polymer Processing I Topics Include: Materials performance during Injection Moulding

Polymer Characterisation I Topics include analysis of polymers using Thermal and Mechanical Methods

Polymer Chemistry and Physics I Synthesis of Polymers

Sem 2:

Polymer Materials II Topics include; Composites, Additive Manufacturing,

Polymer Processing II Topics Include: Materials performance during, Extrusion, Blow Moulding

Polymer Characterisation II Topics include analysis of polymers using Rheological and Spectroscopic Methods

Polymer Chemistry and Physics II Topics Include: Structure property relationships, degradation

Project An applied Industry project to demonstrate job ready skills

Careers & Opportunities

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