Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Not available to students who have database experience at A level or equivalent.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 hours
Practical 18 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   written exam  40%
Semester Assessment Up to 9 practical worksheets completed in labs and in own time  10%
Semester Assessment Design and implementation of a database and associated report  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   supplemetary exam  Resit failed examination and/or resubmission of failed/non-submitted coursework components or ones of equivalent value.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • set up and interrogate a single-table database
  • produce well-designed forms and reports from it
  • explain the reasons for using a multi-table database
  • recognise the problems leading to modification anomalies and be able to address simple examples of them using the relational model and normalisation
  • design simple multi-table databases
  • construct and use a simple multi-table database

Brief description

On successful completion of this module, students will be familiar with the ideas used in database packages for personal computers and be able to design and construct a database using such a package to store and retrieve information of the type they will encounter in their studies.


This module provides an introduction to the use of a relational database management system so that:

  • students will be able to design, construct and use simple databases from (appropriate) material they encounter elsewhere in their studies;
  • students will gain an appreciation of the ideas that lie behind the relational database paradigm
The philosophy of the course will be to provide students with a tool and with techniques that they can use elsewhere in their studies. The practicals will be based on the microcomputer package Microsoft Access, and will develop problem solving and database design and implementation skills.


1. Introduction - 2 Lectures
The idea of a database, Database Management System and Database Application; a simple and a more complex example; records; fields; objects.

2. Tables and forms - 4 Lectures, 2 Practicals
The views of a table; field data types, properties; validation; primary keys and indexes; Access form wizards; varieties of form available; the views of a form; controls; tab order; visual design; forms for data entry.

3. Interrogating a Database - 3 Lectures, 2 Practicals
Simple search; wildcards; filters and select queries; crosstab, parameter, groups and totals queries. Elementary SQL for queries.

4. Reports - 1 Lecture, 1 Practical
Access report wizards; varieties of report; the views of a report; controls.

5. Multi-table databases - 4 Lectures, 3 Practicals
Entity-relationship modelling: entities, attributes, relationships, many-to-many relationships. Primary and foreign keys. Derivation of a set of tables from a model.

6. Normalisation - 4 Lectures
Data redundancy, inconsistencies, modification anomalies. Relational integrity. Functional dependencies. 1st, 2nd,3rd Normal Forms. Implementation in Microsoft Access. Improving and modifying a database.

7. Other Database Management System Facilities - 2 Lectures
Security issues; introduction to transaction processing.

8. Debriefing - 2 Lectures
Some lecture time each week will be devoted to a debriefing on the previous practical. Two of the practical sessions will be allocated to work on the assignments, but students should expect to have to spend further time on their assignments.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Thomas Connolly, Carolyn Begg & Richard Holowczak (2008) Business Database Systems This book is available electronically Pearson Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4