Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2018/19 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Many web and internet-based applications use databases; many technologies and architectures are available to support the use of modern OO-based database server-side systems. The module addresses databases from the web perspective, covering both principles of design and practical applications using 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 knowledge of the theory, principles and practice of web database management systems
  • Practical design skills: data storage, database security, internet databases and XML; the module project
  • Management: the module project and lab assignment
  • Design integration: integration of various techniques including data storage, transactions, security and concurrency control techniques; the module project
  • the engineering of software systems: engineering of distributed DBs, internet DBs, OODBs and ORDBs; the module project
  • Professional skills: module assignments, the project for database design case study
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      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
      Preparation and Reading 46
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Laboratory report Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Laboratory report 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Staged written feedback of laboratory and 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