Module 21923 (2011)

Syllabus page 2011/2012

Fundamentals: Databases

Level 4/M C

Uday Reddy
10 credits in Semester 1

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The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page. (The University module description has not yet been checked against the School's.)

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Essential Additional Information


The module will explore some of the fundamentals of databases. Topics will include: relational theory, relational algebra, query languages, data design. The necessary mathematical background will be developed alongside its application in databases. Students will be introduced to an existing database system. The module is particularly suitable for MSc students who have little previous background in Computer Science.


The aims of this module are to:

  • Introduce the fundamentals of database theory
  • Introduce the core of the SQL query language
  • Enable students to design a database

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: Assessed by:
1Use SQL to create, modify and query databases Examination, Continuous assessment
2Analyse a real-world scenario and perform a conceptual database design for it Examination, Continuous assessment
3Take a conceptual data design model and translate it into the relational model Examination, Continuous assessment
4Use an existing database system Continuous assessment
5Apply relational algebra and the mathematical theory of relations to describe databases, queries, and consistency conditions Examination, Continuous assessment

Restrictions, Prerequisites and Corequisites


May not be taken by anyone who has or is taking 06-02525 (Databases 2)






Teaching Methods:

2 hrs lectures/tutorials per week (plus 22 hours of assisted labs)

Contact Hours:



  • Sessional: 1.5hr examination (80%), continuous assessment (20%)
  • Supplementary (where allowed): 1.5 hour examination (100%)

Recommended Books

TitleAuthor(s)Publisher, Date
Database Systems: Design, Implementation and Management (International ed.)P. Rob, C. Coronel & K. CrockettCengage Learning, 2008

Detailed Syllabus

  1. Tables and SQL: using the existing relational database implementation, simple select queries, nested queries, aggregate functions, grouping, table creation and modification, etc.
  2. Conceptual database design: entities and relationships, generalisation hierarchies, keys and weak entities, ER diagrams.
  3. Logical database design and relational theory: translating ER diagrams into tables, relational algebra, functional dependencies, normalisation, de-normalisation.
  4. Discrete-mathematical underpinning of database relations, relationships and relational algebra.

Last updated: 21 Jan 2010

Source file: /internal/modules/COMSCI/2011/xml/21923.xml

Links | Outline | Aims | Outcomes | Prerequisites | Teaching | Assessment | Books | Detailed Syllabus