COSC265-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Relational Database Systems

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 16 July 2018
End Date: Sunday, 18 November 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 27 July 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 12 October 2018


An introduction to database systems, database design, relational databases and database management systems.

The course introduces database systems and their role in software applications. The course has been designed to enable you to understand the theoretical basis of databases and be able to apply that knowledge in developing and using relational databases. The lectures are organized around the database design lifecycle. The first part of the course is devoted to conceptual database design using the Enhanced Entity Relationship model. The second part introduces the relational data model, logical database design, relational algebra and SQL. In the labs students go through the process of developing small databases from given requirements. The third part of the course is devoted to data normalization and physical database design. The last part looks in depth at database management systems and various techniques used to ensure smooth operation of database applications and queries. This course is a prerequisite for SENG365 (Web Computing Architectures).

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students will be able to
- understand the role of database systems in software applications
- understand the database design lifecycle
- design conceptual database schemas starting from requirements
- design logical schemas by mapping conceptual schemas
- use relational algebra to query databases
- implement relational databases using SQL
- use SQL to query, populate, update and manage databases
- normalize relational databases
- design physical schemas to achieve good performances
- apply relational algebra to optimize evaluation of queries
- understand the functions of Relational Database Management Systems

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.



COSC205, COSC226

Timetable Note

There will be three lectures per week (times to be announced), which will be given by Prof Tanja Mitrovic (email Labs will be held in lab 2 (Erskine). Please see information in Learn related to tutorials.

Depending on final student numbers, some of the advertised lab/tutorial streams may not run. Final lab/tutorial options will be available for self-allocation closer to the start of the semester through My Timetable.

Course Coordinator

Tanja Mitrovic


Paul Wagner


Yalini Sundralingam


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Assignment 25%
Quizzes 5%
Lab Test 20%
Final Exam 50%

No assignments will be accepted after the drop dead date (i.e. a week after the assignment is due). The penalty for the late submission of an assignment will be an absolute deduction of 15% of the maximum possible mark.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Elmasri, Ramez. , Navathe, Sham; Fundamentals of database systems; 7th; Pearson, 2017.

Previous editions of the same textbook are also suitable.
The COSC265 lecture notes and all additional material will be available via Learn.
The 7th edition of the course textbook can now be purchased from here


Important documents
COSC265 handouts will be available in Learn.

There are several important documents available online about departmental regulations, policies and guidelines at the following site. We expect all students to be familiar with these.

Notices about this class will be posted to the class forum in the Learn system.

COSC students will also be made members of a class called “CSSE Notices”, where general notices will be posted that apply to all classes (such as information about building access or job opportunities).

Additional Course Outline Information

Grade moderation

The Computer Science department's grading policy states that in order to pass a course you must meet two requirements:
1. You must achieve an average grade of at least 50% over all assessment items.
2. You must achieve an average mark of at least 45% on invigilated assessment items.
If you satisfy both these criteria, your grade will be determined by the following University- wide scale for converting marks to grades: an average mark of 50% is sufficient for a C- grade, an average mark of 55% earns a C grade, 60% earns a B- grade and so forth. However if you do not satisfy both the passing criteria you will be given either a D or E grade depending on marks. Marks are sometimes scaled to achieve consistency between courses from year to year.

Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website within five days of the assessment.

Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Department and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required.

Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $834.00

International fee $3,788.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering.

All COSC265 Occurrences

  • COSC265-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018