module specification

CC5051 - Databases (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Databases
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Case study - design and implementation (1000 words + a combination of 20 entities/relationships/queries)
In-Course Test 50%   In-Class Test (2 Hours)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Introduces techniques for analysing, designing and implementing database systems. Anunderstanding of data modelling and design concepts is provided and database programming language skills are taught.The practical aspect of developing database systems is emphasised and use is made of a widely-used commercial database system (e.g. Oracle) for this purpose.  

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of Level 4 or equivalent

Module aims

The module aims to give an introduction to the issues governing the design and implementation of database systems. Theoretical aspects of designing sound database systems, as well as the practical aspects of implementing such systems are presented. This therefore allows students to understand, and put into practice, the techniques available for analysing, designing and developing database systems.


• Databases and Database Management Systems: architectural framework, data independence.

• Data analysis and modelling: conceptual data model notation, Entity-Relationship modelling, normalisation theory.

• Database models: historical background, hierarchical, network, relational models.

• Relational database theory: the model and its terminology, primary/foreign keys, integrity constraints,  logical schema transformation.

• Relational Database languages: querying, insertion, deletion, update, views and reporting with SQL.

• Relational Algebra: algebraic operations, reference to SQL.

• Case study: practical application of database design and implementation.

Learning and teaching

Formal lectures (1 hour per week) will be delivered where the aim will be to communicate theoretical aspects of data analysis and design. Students will gain knowledge of the techniques available for database design during these lectures. In order to augment the lecture material and give students the opportunity to apply these techniques, there will be weekly tutorial sessions (1 hour) which will be conducted in the form of group discussions or individual exercises – the choice depending on the type of material to be covered.

This module develops practical knowledge of a DBMS and weekly workshop sessions (1 hour) will be designed to ensure that all students receive adequate hands-on experience of an appropriate package. In addition students will spend time on directed, unsupervised learning for which an indication of relevant material (book chapters, journals, other publications and practical websites) will be given. Students should also explore the software package and gain proficiency at using it.

Blended learning provision will be in form of a range of teaching, learning and support materials available on the University VLE. Students will be encouraged to view their progress related to the learning of the SQL language in a reflective manner.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

• [LO1]Produce an Entity-Relationship model from a realistic problem specification
• [LO2]Use formal design techniques (e.g. normalisation) to produce a database schema
• [LO3]Design and implement a database system from a conceptual data model
• [LO4]Manipulate and extract data stored in a database using relational algebra and SQL
• [LO5]Discuss the relative merits of the relational environment

Assessment strategy

The assessment method consists of two components: an in-class test (2  hours) and one individual  coursework.
The assessment strategy for this module represents the duality of the learning process for this subject. Students need to be assessed on their ability to absorb and apply theoretical material such as design notation and modelling. Additionally, students  need to be assessed on their ability to demonstrate practical proficiency of a popular DBMS environment. The learning outcomes encompass both theoretical and practical aspects and the assessment strategy needs to reflect both these elements.

The assessment strategy ensures that students can demonstrate practical knowledge[LO3, LO4]which they will have acquired during the workshop sessions, with the use of a practical coursework element. The assessment strategy also allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of theoretical aspects [LO1, LO2, LO5]of the subject area, such as relational algebra, with the use of an unseen examination.


Connolly, T. &Begg, C. Database Systems - A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management (5th Ed.), Pearson Education, 2009.

Ritchie, C. Relational Database Principles (3rd Ed.) Cengage Learning, 2008.

Kroenke, D. & Auer, D. Database Concepts (5th Ed.), Pearson, 2011.

Hoffer, J. A., Venkataraman, R. & Topi, H. Modern Database Management (10th Ed.) Pearson, 2011.

Shah, N. Database Systems Using Oracle, Pearson, 2004.

Kline, K., Hunt, B. &Kline, D. SQL in a Nutshell - A Desktop Quick Reference O'Reilly, 2004.

Earp, R. & Bagui, S. Learning SQL A Step-by-Step Guide using Oracle, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2008.