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SCC.201: Databases

Department: Computing and Communications (School of) NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF5//RQF5
Study Level: Part II (yr 2) Credit Points: 15.0
Start Date: 15-01-2018 End Date: 23-03-2018
Available for Online Enrolment?: Y Enrolment Restriction: Only available to students where listed in programme syllabus rules
Module Convenor: Dr AC Scott

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

  • Prior to SCC.201, the student must have successfully completed:

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • This module builds upon knowledge gained in Part I by providing a theoretical background to the design, implementation and use of database management systems, both for data designers and application developers.  It takes into account all relevant aspects related to information security in the design, development and use of database systems. The course consists of a number of related sections, which range from single lectures to multi-lecture streams, depending on the required depth of coverage. The sections are as follows.

    Introduction : we begin with a brief history of how the need for database management systems (DBMS) grew over time and how they are applied in day to day scenarios.

    Database Design: before making use of a DBMS, we must capture our requirements : what data do we actually wish to model? We make use of the Extended Entity-Relationship (EER) model which is both a technique and a notation for designing the data in a DBMS independent way.

    The Relational Model: now the de-facto standard for DBMS, this was a revolutionary step taken in 1970. We extensively examine the Model, looking at relational database systems, the model itself and the normalisation process, the relational algebra (the mathematical theory that underpins the model), the three schema architecture and schema definition in SQL. Finally, we look at how we can map the EER model into an equivalent Relational Model. The resultant database is then examined in terms of access rights and privileges.

    A (re)Introduction to SQL: SQL is the de-facto standard for DBMS query languages. We look at both the DDL (data definition language) and DML (data manipulation language). We introduce the use of views, a powerful mechanism for providing privacy and security. We look at the Discretionary Access Control (DAC) features that allow the granting and withholding of access rights and privileges.

    Accessing relational DBMS via Java: we explore the facilities of the JDBC and show how we can write applications in Java which connect with a relational DBMS (in practice, MySQL).

    The Physical Model: as Computer Scientists, our students need an awareness of the techniques that allow rapid access to stored data. In this section, we examine the physical data organisation and associated access methods. We show under what circumstances the organisations can be applied, and we look at how queries can be optimised.

    Transaction processing and concurrency control: a huge part of DBMS in practice is the need to support transactions and concurrency, allowing huge numbers of users to access the DBMS at any one time while still ensuring the consistency of the data. This stream examines the problems and solutions in depth.


Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • BSc Computer Science

    BSc Computer Science Innovation

    BSc Computer Science (Study Abroad)

    BSc Software Engineering

    BSc IT for Creative Industries

    BEng Communication Systems and Digital Electronics

    BSc Management and IT

    BSc/ BA Computer Science and European Languages

    BSc/ BA Computer Science and Music

    BSc/ BA Computer Science and Mathematics

    BSc/BA Accounting, Finance and Computer Science

    BSc/ BA Natural Sciences

  • 60% Exam
  • 40% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • Coursework. The coursework comprises one piece of practical work, involving the design and implementation of software.The database will be accessed using JDBC and Java. The students will typically be given requirements for an application and some design outlines for a given database and build an appropriate application. This is worth 40% of the overall assessment.

    The Practical Laboratory sessions support the assessment work.

    Typical deadlines would be weeks 8 or 9 of the ten week course. The School aims to return feedback on coursework within two weeks and certainly no later than the University four week deadline.

    The exam will have a duration of 150 minutes (i.e. 2 1/2 hours).  Students have to chose 3 out of 4 questions, for each question they can get a maximum of 25 marks

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • This course  aims to:

    • Instruct students in the ways of analysing data requirements and producing a model which captures those requirements. Further, to transform that model into one suitable for use in a Relational DBMS.
    • Make students aware of security issues related to the design, development and use of database systems.
    • Introduce students to the physical layout of data and associated access methods to allow efficient response to data requests.
    • Instruct students in the theory and practice of the World’s de facto standard, the Relational Model and Relational DBMS.
    • Introduce students to the problems raised by transaction processing and concurrency control, and the solutions.
    • Provide students with a broad range of knowledge and skills necessary for a career in data and database engineering at a professional level.

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  •  The module aims to:


    • Within the discipline of software development, to provide transferable skills in applying efficient physical storage organisation and associated access techniques.
    • Expose and reinforce student awareness of processes, models and notations that can be powerfully applied to problems.
    • Help students to critically evaluate technical ideas.



Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • At the end of the course the students should be able to demonstrate subject specific knowledge, understanding and skills and have the ability to:

    • Demonstrate a deep knowledge of concepts, tools (such as notations) and security aspects related to the design and implementation of a database.
    • Show an understanding of the Relational Model from its mathematical underpinnings through to efficient implementation and execution of SQL queries.
    • Develop software that links to a Relational DBMS (namely MySQL) and produce applications that leverage both the power of the SQL query language and the flexibility of a general programming language (namely Java).

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On the successful completion of the module, students are expected to:

    • Manage their available time efficiently and demonstrate independent learning abilities required for continued professional development.
    • Successfully integrate diverse information to form a coherent understanding of the subject.
    • Critically reflect on technical advancements.

Contact Information

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