module specification

CC7174 - Database Systems with Professional Certification (Distance Learning) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Database Systems with Professional Certification (Distance Learning)
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Coursework Final report with design and system artefacts (2500 words).
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester LMET Distance Learning - -

Module summary

This module focuses on relational databases and deals mainly with design methodology, conceptual design, logical design, design verification, design revision and implementation.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The main aim of this module is to develop an understanding of how to design a database platform for Information Systems development. This includes the application of appropriate data modelling and data analysis techniques. Implementation aspects will be geared towards supporting professional database certification.

The aims of this module are to:
• provide students with an understanding of fundamental database design concepts as well as the techniques and processes for database development.
• appreciate the purpose and breadth of usage of database systems
• equip students with practical skills in applying design techniques to database development
• support practical preparation for database certification.


• Design Methodology.  Design prerequisites, including data administration and data dictionaries. Design focus, including development life cycle and disciplines, information structure, integrity classes. Design process, including phases of database design and database design problems.

• Conceptual Design.  The EER model and ER diagrams. Abstraction mechanisms in database design: synonyms and homonyms, aggregation, generalisation and specialisation. Generalisation hierarchies and inheritance. Guidelines for conceptual design. Alternative approaches to modelling.

• Logical Design.  The relational model and data structure. Relational issues relating to null values, operators, integrity rules, and views. Conceptual schema specification enforcing domain, referential and database-specific integrity constraints. Guidelines for EER to relational mapping: entities (regular, weak, subtype), relationships (unary, binary, ternary), attributes (single/multivalued, optional/mandatory).

• Design Verification.  Normalisation to remove redundancy and update anomalies, and to ensure non-loss decomposition. Functional dependency theory and formal definitions. 3NF and Boyce-Codd normal form. Advanced normal forms for multivalued and join dependency.

• Design Revision.  Composite and surrogate keys. Row-wise and vector-wise data. Column overloading. Over-normalisation and denormalisation. Physical design guidelines. Query optimisation.

• Implementation. Relational database development. Database programming preparation leading to Professional Certification.

Learning and teaching

The distance learning delivery of the module affords the student the flexibility of studying for the module at their own time in their own style at their own location while receiving effective guidance and support throughout the module. The University’s state-of-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used to provide a highly interactive, supportive and collaborative learning experience for the students. A wide range of synchronous and asynchronous facilities are used where appropriate for the effective delivery and assessment of the module, as well as active engagement and support for the students. Among these facilities are WebLearn learning materials, video lectures, discussion board and online forum, and online presentation, viva and feedback.  Students are encouraged to become active participants, rather than passive recipients, of this learning process.

To facilitate a flexible yet structured study pattern, the topics in the module syllabus are grouped into four learning units, with each lasting for three weeks. Each learning unit is designed to cover selected topics.

For each learning unit, the following materials are typically provided to students via the VLE (e.g. WebLearn):
• clear description of required learning activities including required reading list and exercises
• lecture slides and/or other supporting materials
• a clear description of the study tasks for the learning unit, submission instruction, submission deadlines, assessment and marking criteria
• exercise questions posted on the discussion forum on the VLE which facilitates discussion among students.

Students are strongly encouraged to:
• Complete required learning activities
• Post questions related to the module to the relevant Forum in discussion board and engage in online discussion with peers and the tutor
• Submit solutions to study tasks and the required assessment by the given deadline in accordance with published procedures
• regularly check mail boxes, notice boards, e-mails for update on the module.
• complete 200 hours of study.

Formative feedback on student work/progress for each learning unit will be provided.

Final assessment for the module is usually scheduled for the end of the semester. Timely summative feedback for the final assessment will be provided.

Students are expected to complete a total of 200 learning hours for this module. This includes:

• 48 hours – guided learning, teaching and related activities (synchronous & asynchronous), including 12 hour online communication with the tutor;
• 152 hours – guided independent study.

Learning outcomes

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

LO1 - develop an EER model of user requirements;
LO2 - map an EER model to a database implementation model;
LO3 - verify and evaluate typical examples of the implementation;
LO4 - revise a design in light of implementation and performance considerations.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed through 100% coursework. The coursework involves the development of a database application that implements functionality based on a given case scenario.

Deliverables include the artefacts of a practical analysis, design and implementation which takes the form of a report and includes SQL code.

Students are required to demonstrate their database implementation and to give a 10 minute oral presentation via online conference facilities such as Skype.


Connolly, T. & Begg, C. Database Systems - A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management (5th ed.), Addison-Wesley, 2010.

Kroenke, D. & Auer, D., Database concepts (5th ed.) Pearson Education, 2011.

Kroenke, D., Database processing: fundamentals, design and implementation (12th international ed.), Pearson Education 2011.

Elmasri, R. & Navathe, S. Fundamentals of Database Systems (5th ed.) Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2007.

Elmasri, R. & Navathe, B., Database systems: models, languages, design, and application programming (6th ed.) Pearson 2011.

Watson, J. Ramklass, R., Bryla, B., OCA/OCP Oracle database 11g all-in-one exam guide : exams 1Z0-051, 1Z0-052, 1Z0-053, McGraw-Hill 2010. (available as e-book via University library).

International Journal of Database Management Systems, [Chennai, India : Academy and Industry Research Collaboration Centre], 2009-Present, (available as e-resource).