The PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is a foundation degree level course that is internationally recognised as the premier qualification in the packaging industry.
Our newly developed course, based on the revised specification released in 2022, prepares learners to take responsibility for packaging operations at any level through the supply chain and can lead to Higher level study. Our blended learning course features guidance and support throughout the learning journey and the option of undertaking a study tour where you can see the packaging industry in action.
Our course has been designed to take in to account our experiences of training through the pandemic and the results of reseach we have undertaken on the ideal learner journey. The course is comprised of short, bite-sized modules that you can study at a time and pace to suit you on a variety of devices.
Why study towards the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology?
Who is the course aimed at?
Diploma students come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines but they all share a desire to broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the packaging industry.
The Diploma is a Level 5 qualification (foundation degree level) so learners should expect a challenging and rigourous course that explores the packaging industry in detail. We would normally expect those wishing to undertake the course to have a minimum of 1 GCE A-level and 5 GCSEs at grade A–C, or equivalent, including one science subject, or to have previously graduated from our PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Packaging course. Industrial experience can be used as an alternative to formal qualifications and we expect all learners to have good communication, numeracy and IT skills.
How can I study the Diploma?
Our PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is a blended learning course that features:
- An induction day twice a year so you can meet fellow students and the Training Academy team. During this classroom-based session you will get an in-depth explanation of the structure of the course, the milestones you need to meet, our online learning platform and how the qualification is assessed
- Independent online learning - Work through the units at a time and pace to suit you, with the support of our online tutors. Our learning platform has plenty of opportunities for you to test your understanding and get feedback on your learning.
- Virtual tutorials - Every month we will host a virtual tutorial with one of our expert tutors. This will give you a chance to check your understanding and ask any questions you may have.
- Forums to keep in touch with fellow learners
- Optional study tour where you will have the chance to see the packaging industry in action. There will be an additional charge for this non-mandatory element.
How is the course structured?
The PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is split into three units.
This Unit introduces learners to the subject of packaging by examining what packaging is used for and what it does for the product and the user, both within its broad social, economic and marketing context, and meeting its specific functional, environmental and aesthetic requirements.
By the end of this unit learners should understand:
- The role, functions and impact of packaging in the world today
- The structure and interactions of elements in the supply chain from raw materil to end use and disposal
- How active and intelligent packaging technologies can enhance traditional packaging methodologies
- How packaging complies with regulatory practices
- The factors that impact upon the environmental sustainability of packaging
- How packaging communicates and satidfies consumer needs
In this Unit learners study the main packaging materials in terms of their raw materials, manufacturing and conversion processes, and how materials can be used together.
By the end of this unit learners should understand:
- The properties and manufacturing of glass packaging
- The properties and manufacturing of metal packaging
- The properties and manufacturing of fibre-based packaging
- The properties and manufacturing of plastics packaging
- Adhesives and adhesive properties
- The manufacture and use of labels
- The application and use of closure systems
- How materials are combined to acheive the required properties
- Printing and decoration processes used in packaging
In this Unit, learners study packaging machinery and packaging line operations in detail. The Unit also introduces learners to many of the management functions associated with the design, development, production and use of packaging materials and components. These include design, decoration, line operations and quality systems.
At the end of this unit learners should understand:
- The Packaging design and development process
- Packaging machinery and line operations
- Quality and business management in packaging
How is the Diploma assessed?
Assessment takes a number of forms. The theory you study in units 1 to 3 is assessed through four formal written examinations, consisting of:
- 10 short answer questions typically taking 3 minutes each to complete
- 2 longer answer questions typically taking 25 minutes each to complete
- 1 essay question typically taking 40 minutes to complete
These examinations are all two hours long and are taken as part of PIABC's examination series in either June or November each year.
In addition, learners must submit a substantial report on either work-based project or a topic release by PIABC on an annual basis.
How long does the Diploma take to complete?
The PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is a substantial course, which has a recommended total learning time of approximately 510 hours split across working your way through the course content , revising, sitting exams and researching and writing your project. We expect our learners to take between two and three years to complete the qualification.
The examinations must be sat during one of PIABC's two examination series which take place in June and November each year. Generally the Unit 1 and Unit 3 exams are on the morning and afternoon of the same day and the Unit 2A and 2B exams are on the morning and afternoon of the following day. Some people opt to sit two exams in one day, others prefer to sit one exam on each day; how you choose to complete your examinations is up to you. However, to help you to make good progress through your course and complete it in a timely manner we have put together the following suggestions.
- Following induction, work through Unit 1 in order to sit the examination in November of your first year
- After sitting your first exam, work through the extensive content of Unit 2 with the aim of sitting the unit 2a and 2b exams together in November of your second year
- From November onwards work through the content of Unit 3 with the aim of sitting the exam in June of your third year.
- From June start working on your project report. If you are opting to undertake a piece of work-based research, rather than tackle the topic set by PIABC, you should submit your project title and plan for approval before commencing. You should aim to submit your report to PIABC for assessment by November of your third year
- Following induction, work through Unit 1 in order to sit the examination in June of your first year
- After sitting your first exam, work through the extensive content of Unit 2 with the aim of sitting the unit 2a and 2b exams together in June of your second year
- From June onwards work through the content of Unit 3 with the aim of sitting the exam in November of your second year.
- From November start working on your project report. If you are opting to undertake a piece of work-based research, rather than tackle the topic set by PIABC, you should submit your project title and plan for approval before commencing. You should aim to submit your report to PIABC for assessment by June of your third year
How much does the course cost?
Our PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology course costs £2995 +VAT at 20% where applicable. IOM3 members and subscribers to our Business Partner Programme are entitled to a discount of 10% on the course fee.
There is an additional awarding body fee of £420 (VAT free). This covers your registration with PIABC, one sitting of each of the assessment methods and certification on completion of the qualification.
Register for the March intake of the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology blended learning course
Induction day 15 March 2023
Register for the October intake of the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology blended learning course
Induction day 25 October 2023