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Peace, Conflicts and Security Studies (PCS) curricula often require that students gain practical experiences (e.g. internships). Students are also often engaged in relevant extra-curricular voluntary work. However, these Work-based Learning (WBL) activities are rarely fully integrated or evaluated in study programmes.  A consortium of six European universities is taking on this challenge. INCOPS explores and systematically maps existing approaches to integrate practical skills development in PCS. INCOPS brings together Universities with PCS programmes from Canterbury (UK), Cluj (RO), Coimbra (P), Coventry (UK), Marburg (D) and Utrecht (NL) to develop practical toolkits for gaining competences through WBL in PCS curricula.

INCOPS develops a conceptual approach as well as practical tools and evidence based recommendations to fully exploit the potential of practical experiences in teaching and to bridge the theory-practice-gap that still exists in academic PCS programs. Since participating universities will implement these recommendations, INCOPS will directly affect the quality of PCS programmes. Furthermore, through the dissemination of our results we seek to initiate a solution-oriented drive towards linking theory and practice in PCS programs across Europe. The overall aim is for INCOPS recommendations to result in better-trained students who will contribute professionally to the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe and worldwide.

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