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 courses prepare learners to take responsibility for packaging operations at any level through the supply chain and can lead to higher level study. We offer a number of course options that all feature guidance and support throughout the learning journey.
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.
We offer our PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology course in three formats to suit learners of different types.
- Online learning - If you feel confident in your ability to study independently or you need to fit your studies around a hectic work and personal life, our online online course might be the best option for you. You can work through the units at a pace to suit you with the support of our online tutors. You will still need to sit your examinations in either June or November.
- Classroom course - If you would prefer a more traditional format you may wish to choose our intensive classroom course. This is comprised of three, five-day sessions spaced roughly a month apart. This format allows you to meet and learn with like-minded individuals and many of our former students have kept in touch.
- On-site course - If you like to learn by seeing processes in action the on-site course is for you! This option features 15 days of learning (five lots of three) days based at packaging sites around the UK. In addition to lectures and workshops the onsite course also includes factory tours.
The PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is split into four units which build on each other.
The raw materials, manufacturing processes and conversion processes used for high volume packaging materials and components are studied along with how these materials are tested to ensure they are fit for purpose.
Performance throughout all stages is considered, including packaging lines (especially material/machine interfaces), storage and distribution, display and sale, use and disposal by the final consumer. Market uses and applications, along with the influencing factors which affect current and future usage are also reviewed.
The main decoration processes and how they relate to the main packaging materials are covered, along with an understanding of colour, pre-press processes and inks. The advantages and disadvantages of each process are discussed, allowing learners to select the most appropriate process for a range of packaging materials and components.
The PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology is assessed through four formal examinations and one research project report and we anticipate the the course should take around 480 hours to complete . 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.
- The taught elements of the course will take place from March onwards
- Aim to sit two exams during the November examination series and the other two in the examination series the following June.
- You should submit your research project title and ideas by 31 January, in between the two examination series, and your final project report should be submitted by 31 August the same year.
For courses starting in Autumn
- Aim to sit two exams during the June examination series and the other two in the examination series the following November.
- If you start the course between November and June, you should sit two exams in November and the remaining two exams the following June. - If you start the course between June and November, you should sit two exams the following June and the other two exams the following November.
- We recommend you sumbit your project title and ideas approximately 10 months after your start date and your final project report should be submitted a maximum of seven months after this.
Assessment takes a number of forms. The theory you study in units 1 to 3 is assessed through four formal written examinations, consisting of short and longer answer questions. These examinations vary between two and three hours in duration and are taken as part of PIABC's examination series in either June or November each year.
The final unit consists of a 5000-7500 word research project report.
Register to study our online course for the PIABC Level 5 Diploma in Packaging Technology.