Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Databases and Information Systems
Code CSCK542
Coordinator Mr K Dures
Computer Science
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 15


1. To provide a critical understanding of the design and realisation of database systems.
2. To provide in-depth understanding of operation and usage of databases systems.
3. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the administration and maintenance of database systems.
4. To provide comprehensive insight into a range of database paradigms.

Learning Outcomes

(M1) A deep and critical insight into database systems and computer information systems.

(M2) A comprehensive ability to implement a functioning database using current tools and structures, and employing current design practices.

(M3) Demonstrate a critical understanding of database querying via analysis of results.

(M4) Integrate appropriate security and backup in planning database maintenance and administration.

(S1) Communication skills in electronic and written form.

(S2) Self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems.

(S3) An ability to act autonomously and professionally when planning and implementing solutions to computer science problems.

(S4) Experience of working in development teams, respecting others, co-operating, negotiating/persuading, awareness of independence with others.



Week 1: Evolution and Fundamentals of Database Systems
Types of database model, Database Management Systems (DBMS). Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional considerations. Risk factors.

Week 2: The Relational model
The well established relational database model, relational algebra, use of operators.

Week 3: Analysis and Design of Database Systems
Theory and practice of analysing database requirements and designing database systems covering both logical and physical considerations. Security and maintenance of database systems.

Week 4: Transaction Management
Data base transaction properties. Atomicity, Consistency Isolation and Durability (the ACID test). Transaction states, concurrency and deadlock.

Week 5: Query Languages
Examination of popular query languages, their advantages and disadvantages and their usage. Presentation of results, data visualisation.

Week 6: Database connectivity
Client-server issues, connection pooling, da tabase connectivity using bespoke Application Programmer interfaces (APIs).

Week 7: Web technology and DBs
Web-enabled systems, web-like databases, the semantic web, the concept of ontology.

Week 8: Alternative Database Paradigms
NoSqL databases, graph databases.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The mode of delivery is by online learning, facilitated by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This mode of study enables students to pursue modules via home study while continuing in employment. Module delivery involves the establishment of a virtual classroom in which a relatively small group of students (usually 10-25) work under the direction of a faculty member. Module delivery proceeds via a series of eight one-week online sessions, each of which comprises an online lecture, supported by other eLearning activities, posted electronically to a public folder in the virtual classroom. The mode of learning includes a range of required and optional eLearning activities, including but not limited to: lecture casts, live seminars, self-assessment opportunities, and required and suggested further reading and try-for-yourself activities. Communication within the virtual classroom is asynchronous, preserving the requirement that students are able to pursue the module in their own time, within the weekly time-frame of each online session. An important element of the module provision is active learning through collaborative, cohort-based, learning using discussion fora where the students engage in assessed discussions facilitated by the faculty member responsible for the module. This in turn encourages both confidence and global citizenship (given the international nature of the online student body).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 24


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 86


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Group Presentation: Database and information systems’ group project resulting in a demonstrable system and group video report (10 minutes) describing and analysing the approach taken and the system de  12 hours    30       
Programming: Practical database and information systems exercise resulting in a demonstrable system and supporting analysis in the form of a brief report (500 words)  12 hours    30       
Discussion Question 2: Actively participate in online discussion on a module-specific topic, contributing original thought and understanding of key areas.  1000-1500 words    20       
Discussion Question 1: Participate actively in an online discussion to critically discuss experiences and opinions within the cohort regarding the nature of database and information systems.  1000-1500 words    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.