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CSC2024 : Database Technology

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paolo Missier
  • Lecturer: Dr John Colquhoun
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce the fundamentals of database system design and use.

The module introduces the fundamentals of database systems. You will understand and be able to apply the relational data model and be proficient in manipulating database systems. Among the topics covered are: Principles of data models and multi-level architectures; relational data model; user requirements; database conceptual design; relational algebra and calculus; SQL standard; database logical and physical design; transactions; embedded SQL; web interaction (JDBC, Java persistence, front-end design); database management; query processing and optimization; object-relational mapping and associated technology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Information Management – database systems
- Motivation for database systems
- Components of database systems
- DBMS functions
- Database architecture and data independence
- Use of a declarative query language
- Query processing and optimization
Information Management – data modeling
- Data modeling
- Conceptual models (such as entity-relationship)
- Relational data model
Information Management – indexing
- The massive impact of indexes on query performance
- The basic structure of an index;
- Keeping a buffer of data in memory;
- Creating indexes with SQL;
Information Management – relational databases
- Mapping conceptual schema to a relational schema
- Entity and referential integrity
- Relational algebra
Information Management – query languages
- Overview of database languages
- SQL (data definition, query formulation, update sublanguage, constraints, integrity)
- Embedding non-procedural queries in a procedural language
- Stored procedures
Information Management – relational database design
- Database design
- Functional dependency
- Decomposition of a schema; lossless-join and dependency-preservation properties of a decomposition
- Candidate keys, superkeys, and closure of a set of attributes
- Normal forms (1NF, 2NF, 3NF, BCNF)
- Controlling databases from Java programs:
- models and technology for object-relational mapping (Hibernate)
- DBMS architecture and functional components
- query processing, query plans, indexing, query optimisation
- transaction management. Lock-based and timestamp-based concurrency control. Logging and Database Recovery
- database views
- database security and administration issues

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion441:0044:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture441:0044:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion480:3024:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work111:0011:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study332:0066:00Background reading
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CSC2513Database Systems
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures. Classroom-based practicals provide experience of designing and building database applications. Further practical work takes place during the private study hours.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CSC2513Database Systems2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M10database programming exercise (10 hours)
Practical/lab report2M10database programming exercise (10 hours)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In the written examination the questions will assess fundamental knowledge and understanding of theory and application of database design and usage.
The coursework exercises develop knowledge and competence with the various modelling techniques and other skills acquired during the course.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists