Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module COMP51615: Semantic Web and Web Information Systems

Department: Computer Science

COMP51615: Semantic Web and Web Information Systems

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Advanced web-based databases provide an excellent vehicle for addressing many modern web based support technologies. Additionally they are motivated by many real-world examples, and issues of scale thus include grid computing and parallel systems. The aim is thus to establish clear advanced principles of database design, and incorporate (partly through laboratory work), key modern technologies.


  • Introduction
  • E-R management, relational model and algebra, SQL, and database design, more PHP
  • Data storage, B+ Tree indexing and query evaluation
  • Database security and access control
  • Advanced transaction operations and management
  • Distributed and parallel databases
  • Internet databases, XML and information integration
  • Decision support and data warehousing
  • Object-oriented databases and object-relational databses
  • Database design case study - the internet flight booking system
  • Requirements analysis
  • Conceptual and logical design
  • Schema refinement
  • Physical database design
  • Information integration from multiple bac-end data sources
  • Security
  • Application Layers
  • System Testing and Evaluation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Specialist knowledge: advanced level of theory, principles and practice of database management systems - lecture based
  • Management: the module project and lab assignments
  • the engineering of software systems: distributed DBs, internet DBs, OODBs and ORDBs; the module project
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Design integration: integration of various techniques including data storage, transactions, security and concurrency control techniques; the module project
  • Practical design skills: data storage, database security, internet databases and XML; the model project
Key Skills:
  • Professional skills: module assignments, seminars and the project for database design case study

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module comprises 1 week's intensive directed reading and laboratory exercises; 5 days of lectures, tutorial, and reading and two weeks undertaking a major assignment. The overall workload conforms to the standard SLAT requirement of 150 hours equivalent to 15 credits.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 2 per day in week 2 1 hour 10
Tutorials 4 weekly 1 hour 4
Practical 5 daily in week 1 6 hours 30
Laboratory 10 daily in weeks 3,4 6 hours 60
Directed Reading daily 46
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Laboratory report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Laboratory report equivalent to 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Staged written feedback of practical work by staff/demonstrators. Level of success in practical programming exercises, using written feedback from demonstrators.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University