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Module ICE-4611:
Database Systems

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mr Andy Harbach

Overall aims and purpose

To provide students with a practical understanding of database systems including the concept of a database, database management systems, and SQL.

To provide an in depth understanding of the database design process including conceptual, logical and physical design.

To be able to implement database systems, and consider issues such as security, locking, and transactions.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Fundamental database concepts; what is a database, tables, queries, etc.
  • SQL as a language and its function within databases.
  • Database design and normalisation; logical and physical design concepts and techniques.
  • Implementation of a database design.
  • Security concerns, concepts, and mechanisms.
  • Transactions and concurrency control.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 50%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.

Learning outcomes

  1. Examine and describe the major characteristics of a relational database.

  2. Understand and apply the conceptual, logical and physical database design methodologies including the different levels of normalising data.

  3. Create ER models for particular applications.

  4. Appraise the issues of executing multiple queries simultaneously, and how transactions solve them.

  5. Use SQL to query, manipulate and secure a database.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Laboratories exploring SQL 30
COURSEWORK Database Design Laboratories 30
CLASS TEST Class tests 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Formal lectures covering theory and demonstrating practical topics.


Interactive sessions covering writing SQL, case studies, and revision.


Practical sessions writing SQL and using appropriate modelling techniques to design a database system. Includes marking where students are expected to explain their work to a member of staff. Also includes class tests.

Private study

To include reading around the subject, revision, finishing lab work and completing assignments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.

Subject specific skills

  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security
  • Knowledge of information security issues
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Knowledge of systems architecture
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain information systems
  • System Design
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: