Core Module Information
Module title: Database Systems

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SET08120
Module leader: Andreas Steyven
School School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Computer Science


Description of module content:

The module covers these aspects of databases:

Database theory: The relational model is a mathematical construct, and some of the basic concepts can be very useful in understanding the way the technology behaves. This is particularly true for the more technical students who go on to study data warehouses and data mining. Basic set theory and the ANSI-SPARC three level architectural model are covered in this part.

Database design: A key skill for software engineers and for business analysts is to be able to create an efficient relational model of an application context. The design methods specific to relational databases including entity-relationship diagrams and normalisation are covered here.

Database use: The most fundamental database skill is to be able to retrieve required data using well-designed queries. The main vehicle for this is SQL, and this theme is developed over all teaching weeks. As well as learning SQL in isolation using online teaching materials, you will also have access to a stand-alone database application where you can construct your own schema and design and perform your own SQL queries. As part of this theme, other uses of SQL will be introduced which demonstrate its relationship with programming and Web application design.

Database administration: The database administrator (DBA) is a vital role in any information technology department. Some of the main DBA responsibilities will be examined as part of this theme, and you will carry out basic administrative tasks such as backing up and restoring databases. The use of scripts to automate database management processes will also be covered.

Non-relational database systems: While the focus of the module is on relational databases you will learn about some alternatives technologies such as NoSQL.

Security: You will learn about some of the threats to database security and availability. Access to a fast, secure enterprise-wide database is essential for many organisation. You will learn techniques to protect database resources from accidental or deliberate damage or disclosure; these include password hashing and SQL injection protection.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Describe database architecture with reference to current standards.
LO2: Design and implement a relational database schema using standard techniques. LO3: Use standard languages to access and manipulate data.
LO4: Perform basic administrative operations on an example database platform. LO5: Secure database systems against unauthorised access.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, BLENDED, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: BLENDED
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Andreas Steyven
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Theoretical concepts will be delivered early in the module through standard lectures (LO1, 2, 4, 5). These concepts will then be used throughout the remainder of the module to describe other practical aspects of database design and use, thus reinforcing the terminology and underlying principles. Practical concepts will also be introduced via lectures (LO2, 3, 4) and then followed up in practical sessions. The practical sessions will be the primary vehicle for developing students’ knowledge of SQL (LO3). Online screencasts will be used to provide examples of the use of practical techniques for database design and use and for administrative procedures (LO2, 3, 4, 5).

Formative Assessment:
Online SQL tutorials. Moodle mediated self test, MCQ tests
Early practicals will be supported by online tutorial material which gives useful automated formative feedback to students. A number quizzes are available on moodle – students can study using these at their own pace.

Summative Assessment:
Only one component in the assessment.
The assessment will be focused on the students’ practical skills and theoretical knowledge (LO1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and will involve the students developing answers to problems throughout the whole trimester of teaching.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Independent Learning Guided independent study 150
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 24
Total Study Hours198
Expected Total Study Hours for Module198

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Practical 100 1, 2,3,4, 5 12 HOURS= 24.00, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader