Academic Framework

The Higher Colleges of Technology offers instructional programs leading to Bachelor Degrees in: Applied Media, Business, Computer Information Science, Education, Engineering Technology, and Health Sciences, while Bachelor with Diploma Exit degrees are offered in Military and Security .

The HCT Educational Philosophy

The Higher Colleges of Technology believes the best education occurs when its role has expanded beyond employment and employability of our students, to facilitating growth beyond graduation. It aspires to establish a comprehensive HCT “Education-to-employment” ecosystem providing flexible and various learner-centered career-oriented pathways.

Our Guiding Pillars

In line with the future aspirations and vision of UAE’s leadership, HCT has identified the following three pillars as part of its HCT “Education-to-employment” Strategy, which is called the HCT 4.0 Strategy. At the heart of this strategy is our students and our commitment to equip them with the values, skills and intellectual discipline that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the UAE society.


HCT 4.0 2022
  1. Technical Leaders: Build an inclusive and competitive knowledge-based economy to prepare students for the fourth industrial revolution where employers seek technical skills relevant to the new technologies. Develop Technical Leaders with required future skills in alignment with private sector requirements. Promote individual ownership of lifelong learning. Re-skill and up-skill working Emirati professionals as Technical Leaders in existing and new employment sectors in order to prepare them for new jobs. This will ensure that Emiratis are at the forefront, in future jobs, of all industries that are key to the growth and ongoing diversification of the country’s economy.
  2. No Emirati Left Behind: Provide every Emirati with lifelong learning opportunities based on customized education plans that suit and develop their personal skills. Continue to develop and promote talent through an integrated student-centered learning ecosystem. It will be an ecosystem that gives every student access to the best academic practices, programs and curricula, and on-going advice and support, through structured learning and career pathways which will guarantee success in the workplace. 
  3. Graduate Companies: Bring together investors, business leaders, and policy-makers to encourage, recognize and support entrepreneurs. Nurture student innovation and entrepreneurship through incubation; funding startups; applied research and innovation in collaboration with industry; and government and its international universities network, aimed at solving economic and social challenges.

The emphasis of HCT’s educational programs has shifted from merely imparting knowledge to developing individual skills and competencies. It has evolved from teaching students, to empowering learners to be co-creators of their own life-long development journeys; from a focus on gaining public sector jobs to the private sector; and from students relying solely on being employees to becoming entrepreneurs. Within HCT’s three study tracks – Academic, Accelerated and Professional – there are a range of programs that offer the flexibility, through a choice of different exit points, based on the level of students’ educational attainment.

Learning Model Framework

The HCT learning model provides a framework within which HCT students receive their education.  

hct learning model
Graduate Outcomes

Through HCT's learning model, its academic staff are committed to providing educational experiences that  will transform school leavers into university-level students who will graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively contribute to the nation-building process, while developing a sense of personal and social responsibility.

The learning model includes an active learning methodology that equip students with the skills and competencies to meet the future needs of UAE industry and society. The learning approach is implemented through learning outcomes that are program-specific, informed by industry and community stakeholders, aligned to national and international accreditation standards and reflect the applied skills required by industry.

The delivery mode of the all HCT courses places the learner as the center of the teaching-learning process, while a variety of pedagogical methods are used to reflect the applied nature of the programs and to cater for the individual learning styles. HCT students learn by engaging in experiential learning that is a direct application of skills, theories and models and which sees them apply knowledge and skills gained in hands-on, real-world settings, creative projects and independent or directed research. Education at HCT occurs both inside and outside the classroom experience and is connected to workforce needs and application. Students are continuously challenged to connect what they learn at HCT, with the broader world and with their interests.

Course Credit Definition

HCT course credit units are granted in recognition that a course of study has been successfully completed as per the requirements of the relevant course outline.

The number of credit units assigned to each course is based on the amount of time that students are expected to spend under supervised delivery as well as independent study of the content in order to achieve learning outcomes.

The set number of credits for each course is specified in the course catalog. Most courses are one semester long which, if completed with a passing grade, carry the number of course credit units as specified.

Graduation Requirements

The graduation requirements for any individual student are determined by the catalog that was effective when the student enrolled in the major. The student is personally responsible for meeting all graduation requirements. 

If a required course within a program changes its number of credits, then the number of credits required by the program for graduation may, at the discretion of the Faculty, change by the minimum required by CAA for the respective program and CGPA is at least 2.0. In case of substantial changes in course offerings, equivalent graduation requirements must be approved by the Executive Dean of the student’s Division. 

Disclaimer: Course information, content and prerequisites may be subject to change as a result of the HCT’s commitment to a process of continuous improvement in academic programs. Students must comply with the most up-to-date course requirements.

To graduate a student has to achieve a minimum CGPA of 2.0 for any undergraduate degree program.
A minimum of 50% of the program credit requirements must be completed at HCT. Students must complete the required volunteering hours to be able to graduate.

Passing Grade Requirement

The minimum passing grade requirement for a course to meet any area of the graduation requirements and to satisfy any course prerequisites and/or co-requisites is D.

Bachelor Degree

To earn a Bachelor Degree from the HCT, a student must:

  1. Have a minimum CGPA of 2.0 in the overall baccalaureate coursework.
  2. Complete at least 120 credit units including:
    1. 33 credits of General Studies courses in specified areas;
    2. a minimum of 60 units in a program major.
  3. Complete all required courses for a program major.

* One credit unit equals not less than 15 hours per semester.

Level Generic Nomenclature Vocational Education and Training (VET)1 Higher Education (HE)1 General Education (G 12-GE)1
10 Doctoral Degree -- Doctoral --
9 Master Degree Applied Master Master --
8 Graduate Diploma Applied Graduate Diploma Postgraduate Diploma --
7 Bachelor Degree Applied Bachelor Bachelor --
6 Diploma Advanced Diploma Higher Diploma --
5 Diploma / Associate Degree Diploma Associate Degree --
4 Certificate Certificate 4 -- Secondary School Certificate (G 12)
3 Certificate Certificate 3 -- TBA
2 Certificate Certificate 2 -- --
1 Certificate Certificate 1 -- --

Source: QFEmirates handbook

The Qualifications Framework for the Emirates (QFE)

Each Bachelor program has been aligned with the National Quality Framework of the Emirates. The QF Emirates is the UAE’s National Qualifications Framework (termed the “Qualifications Framework for the Emirates” (QFE) to distinguish it from other countries). The QFE Framework also provides detailed information on the level of knowledge, skills, and competencies required of graduates in the UAE. The specific levels of learning attained by HCT graduates are aligned with the QFE levels appropriate to their program. This is the requirement as per CAA - degree and program completion requirements, including the curricula, program learning outcomes at the appropriate level, and how these learning  outcomes are aligned with the QFEmirates.

The Hybrid Learning Model

HCT’s quest for digitized education has been progressing at a rapid pace, as it was investing in its technology ecosystem since 2017, shaping it around an expected 10-year educational outlook. Since 2018, HCT had been preparing for the launch of a virtual classroom model that adopts an Uber-like, service-on-demand, smart eLearning strategy. The initiative was designed to respond to the developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, using an innovative and digital higher education model to perform a paradigm shift from in-person classes to remote learning. 

With the global COVID-19 pandemic severely impacting and restricting daily social and business activities around the world, traditional (standard) education models were also seismically disrupted. As a result, HCT completely transition from a learning system comprised of in-person, “brick and mortar” campuses to a system of online classes and service delivery for the student body. HCT took an agile methodology to increase its efforts towards ensuring students, and their education, were not affected, resulting in a seamless transition to digital learning platforms. 

It ultimately evolved into, the HCT’s DIGI Campus, a completely online learning platform for students, which serves as a centralized online environment. It is open to all HCT community members and can be personalized according to students’ interests and their affiliation with the university. Through Digi Campus, users can obtain learning resources, provide learning content, deliver student and academic services, enjoy extra-curricular activities, and foster further interaction with the HCT community.

With the global pandemic being managed by authorities, HCT determined to implement a Hybrid Education Model for the new 2020-21 academic year, which will see a mix of courses being delivered online, and on-campus.

Hybrid education is seen as an ideal mode of educational delivery, combining on-campus learning with distance learning in an efficient and effective manner, which provides students with the optimal educational service, covering theoretical and applied studies, best suited for their academic requirements.

Students’ on-campus attendances are limited to laboratory work, workshops, seminars and presentations, while all other classes will be held online. Applied research and entrepreneurship activities occur on campuses at the HCT InnCuVation Spaces, while assessments and exams are conducted on-campus.

The Hybrid Education Model integrates hands-on, project-based Learning, professional certificates qualifications (PCQs) into HCT academic curriculum. This model utilizes various delivery method tools that empower students and prepare them for the future job requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by placing emphasis on self and continuous life-long learning skills. 

The guiding principles for the hybrid model include:

  • The combined mode of delivery will be program-course specific with fractions course dependent,
  • Following the Ministry of Education/ CAA guidelines, the total of on-line delivery component for any one program  will be less than 50%,
  • The on-line portion may not be campus-specific and can be system-wide.