Courses in


Certificate in Industrial Automation PART TIME

Open for Applications

Discipline: Engineering

Location: Galway - Dublin Road

NFQ Level: 7

Programme Duration: Three years

Mode of Study: Part time

Application Route: Apply direct to GMIT

Entry Requirements: None

Places: 20


See Other Essential Information

CAO Round 1 Points: Not Applicable

Why Study?

Industrial Automation refers to the use of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) in a range of industrial and manufacturing applications.

Students will meet all the industry leading PLCs and will learn to install, maintain and programme the PLCs in real-life applications.

This is a very practical course designed to give the student the skills they need to get a job in this broad and buoyant area.

It is delivered one evening a week (4-8pm) over two years of study with a project being undertaken in the third year. 

Programme Modules

Year 1

  • Industrial Automation 1 (10 Credits, Level 6)

Year 2

  • Industrial Automation 2 (10 Credits, Level 7)

Year 3

  • Workbased Project (10 Credits, Level 7)

Learning Outcomes: 

Industrial Automation 1

  • Select and install the panel wiring cables, accessories and protective devices required for 'direct on line', 'forward/reverse' 'star/delta and sequence starting of motors.
  • Install a safety relay circuit incorporating an emergency stop.
  • Develop and interpret schematic diagrams of the listed motor power and control circuits.
  • Install a soft start controller on a three phase motor and identify suitable applications.
  • Install a thermistor relay on a direct-on-line motor control circuit.
  • Fault find on various motor control exercises utilising schematic drawings, test instruments and manufacturers' technical data.
  • Describe the operation and layout of various PLC systems
  • Select input/output modules for a given application
  • Read and interpret basic ladder diagrams/statement lists on a programmable console.
  • Assemble and wire a PLC system using a number of inputs and outputs. Install programmes and test for function.
  • Back up a PLC program on hard disk or diskette/usb drive.

Industrial Automation 2 

  • Configure PLC hardware including I/O devices Analogue and Digital .
  • Write program blocks for Programmable Controllers using  a variety of programming languages.
  • Explain the operation and utilisation of various sensors and actuators for automated systems for the purpose of data acquisition.
  • Develop and test control solutions for automated systems, both electronic and pneumatic.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and be able to implement safety measures in the design of automated systems.

Workbased Project

  • Apply the transferable skills you have learnt so far.
  • Gain experience of technical industry and thereby increase their employability upon graduation.
  • Gain practical experience relevant to at least one area of their programme
  • Put theory into practice.
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills and communications by working as part of a team.


Industrial Automation 1

  • Industrial safety: House rules, safe practice, safety precautions, workshop safety, accidents reports, first aid, electric shock treatment. 
  • Wiring Systems: Basic wiring, accessories, circuits, cable slection, testing equi[pment, trunking/conduit installation, earthing and testing. 
  • Hard Wired Control Systems: International symbols, Wiring and schematic control circuits, relay logic, interlocking, starting methods, motor control, fault finding, dianostics. 
  • Programmable Controller Hardware: Architecture, Central Proccessor Unit, Memory, Input/output modules, Programming Units, Modular Systems. 
  • Programming Of PLC Systems: Ladder language, List language, System flow chart, Standard PLC functions and Features e.g. timers, counters, special function relays, Fault finding. 
  • System Operation and Programming Techniques: PLC systems, Modes of operation, Program scanning, Connection of peripheraals, Monitoring/Diagnostics. 

Industrial Automation 2 

  • Programmable logic Control/Human machine Interfacing/ including various programming languages e.g. Ladder/Instruction List/Sequential flow chart. 
  • Control system principles 
  • Safety in automated systems. Health and Safety Directives. 
  • PLC hardware/selection and configuration of; power supply modules, CPU, digital input/output modules..
  • Principle of operation of transducers/sensors and actuators, Plant control circuitry/Hybrid design. Data acquisition. Simulation control will also achieved using Automation suite/LabView. 
  • Pneumatics/Compressors/Valve actuators 
  • Case studies/Control Building Blocks. 
  • Fault finding and Diagnostics. 
  • Laboratory Exercises:- These will include: 
  • Introductory Applications e.g Timers, retentive Timers, Counters, Cascading Counters. 
  • Programming Techniques e.g. MCR, JUMP and Force Control. 
  • Sequencers. Interlocking both 'Hard Wired and Using Monitoring Contacts. Sequential Function Chart (SFC), Function Block Diagram (FBD). 
  • Practical Projects e.g. Safety Relays, Control Relays, Power Switching, Explosive Atmospheres, Spray Painting, Saw Bench Cutting, Faulty Batch Detector, Car Park project including Pneumatic Control System.

Workbased Project

The period of Work Placement will form an integral part of the course and will consist of a specified minimum period in a workplace as listed in the Work Placement Guidelines document.  Work placement will be managed by a committee consisting of the head of department; programme co-ordinator and the academic supervisor. Each work placement will be supervised by an academic supervisor and an industry supervisor.  The student will be invited to find a suitable placement and obtain ratification from the academic supervisor. Assistance will be given to students who have difficulties in securing an appropriate placement. Placement will normally be obtained with industry relevant to the core qualification of the programme. 

When a suitable training place has been obtained, the academic supervisor will agree:


  • An industry supervisor within the placement company to whom the student will be responsible.
  • A training programme which takes into account the aims of industrial placement as stated above. 
  • During the placement period the student will be visited on at least one occasion by the academic supervisor. During this visit, assessment will be made of the student's progress within the agreed programme and any necessary alterations, modifications or adjustments will be made after consultation with the student and industry supervisor

Essential Information: 


Total fee (Tuition Fee plus Student Contribution) for the full 30 Credit Certificate is €2,310.  Fees are payable in one instalment in each separate year.

Year 1:  Industrial Automation 1 (10 Credits, Level 6)             €750, payable in September 2017.

Year 2 : Industrial Automation 2 (10 Credits, Level 7)            €750, payable in September 2018.

Year 3  Workbased Project (10 Credits, Level 7)                   €750, payable in September 2019.

Payment by Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Draft or Postal Order (made payable to GMIT). Payment in cash not possible. A 50% reduction in (Tuition & Student Contribution) fee applies to people in receipt of payments from the Department of Social Protection. Fees are fully refundable up to the day each module starts, thereafter there are no refunds.

Student Cards
Students who enrol for this Certificate will qualify for issuing of a GMIT Student ID Card. However if you are undertaking only individual modules within the Certificate you will not qualify for issuing of a GMIT Student ID Card.

Delivery Dates

The Certificate will be delivered as follows:

  • Industrial Automation 1 : - delivered on Tuesdays from 4pm to 8pm, from September 2017 to May 2018, commencing Tuesday, 19th September, 2017.
  • Industrial Automation 2 : - delivered on Mondays from 4pm to 8pm, from September 2018 to May 2019.
  • Workplace Project:  - completed within employers workplace by agreement, from September 2019 to May 2020.

The course is delivered in the GMIT Galway Campus, Dublin Road, Galway. The room will be advised on the Notice Board in Reception.

Closing Date for Applications
Friday, 15th September, 2017. If all places are taken on the course the status of the course will change from “Open for Applications” to “Course Full”.

Application Process
Either complete and return an Application Form or phone the Lifelong Learning Centre on 091 742145 to complete an application form over the phone. The link to the Applicaton Form is

Contact Us


Course details

Des O'Reilly

Head of Department 

Tel: 091-742 203



Peter Butler

Lifelong Learning Coordinator

Tel: 091 742 328




Mary Russell

Lifelong Learning Centre

GMIT, Dublin Road

Tel: 091-742 145


Student project - Degree in Electrical Services and Automation Engineering