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Unit information: Databases in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Databases
Unit code COMS20700
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Bernhard
Open unit status Not open

COMS11600 Principles of Programming



School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides students with the theory, principles and fundamentals of database systems, and explores practical applications and working with real world databases. The taught material is a mixture of practice and theoretical background. In addition, guest lectures will give insight into how principles are used in large, real-world databases.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this unit you will have practical experience with the most widely-used database management systems, and will know the principles of database design. You will learn to appreciate the issues and understand:

Database Management Systems: The role of Database management systems (DBMS) at the heart of most information systems, and their increasingly important role in the day to day running of modern organisations. Database Models and Design: Relational algebra and the relational model. Entity-relationship modelling and various ways of normalisation. Query Languages: The syntax and implementation of SQL is covered in some depth both in the lectures and in accompanying labs. You will be able to design, create and query databases in SQL. A basic introduction to XML Query Languages will be given. Database Features: fundamentals of transactions, constraints, triggers, views and indexes. Distributed and Modern databases: The basic principles behind the design and implementation of distributed databases. Client-server database systems. Database-related concepts about Data Mining, Data Warehousing, Semantic Tags, AWS and some Future Directions of Databases

Teaching Information

34 hours of lectures and laboratory sessions, these may include invited guest lectures, plus individual research & implementation

Assessment Information

Exam 50%, Coursework 50%. The exam is a 2-hour written exam which assesses across the full range of intended learning outcomes. The coursework is staged and includes a small group project designing and implementing a Database from a detailed specification.

Reading and References

Relevant literature on the platform, language and chosen application area will be indicated by the unit director.

T. Connolly & C. Begg Database Systems: A Practical Approach to design, Implementation, and Management Addison Wesley 4th Edition 2004 ISBN: 0321210255 Price: £60.00 Recommended (Main Text)

J.D. Ullman & J. Widom A First Course in Database Systems Prentice Hall 3rd Edition 2007 ISBN: 013600637X Price: £58.99 Recommended (Alternative Main Text)