• Class Number 7511
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Graham Williams
    • Dr Muhammad Farhan
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course is an introduction to relational databases and the general skills for designing and using them. The topics include the relational data model, SQL, entity-relationship model,functional dependencies,(de-)normalisation, relational algebra, query processing and optimisation, database transactions and security. To deepen the understanding of relational databases, the current industry development of database systems such as NoSQL databases will be introduced at the end of this course.    

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the basic concepts of the relational model and understand its mathematical foundation;
  2. Use the SQL language to define, query and manipulate a relational database;
  3. Apply conceptual database modelling methods such as entity-relationship model to design a relational database;
  4. Apply database design methods on functional dependencies and normal forms to evaluate the quality of a relational database design;
  5. Understand query processing and optimization, transaction and security management in a relational database management system.
  6. Understand the state of the art of database management systems, and big data management challenges (Amazon's Dynamo, Google's BigTable, MongoDB and MapReduce).

Research-Led Teaching

This course will provide students with the opportunities:

1. To develop knowledge of a range of theoretical database concepts and practical skills;

2. To learn about some latest industry and research development in the field of databases.

Required Resources

A laptop or desktop is needed for accessing the course materials on Wattle and for completing the assignments.

The recommended (not required) textbook for this course is

Fundamentals of Database Systems, 7th Edition, R. Elmasri and S. Navathe, Global Edition, 2017


This book has also been published under different titles and with different front covers (see below, 4th, 5thor 6th editions, etc.). These earlier versions are also fine for this course. The textbook is available from the Co-op bookshop. Some copies of this book (including both 7th and earlier editions) are available in the reserve section of the Hancock Library.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures: Introduction to Database SystemsNo lab
2 Lectures: Relational Data Model and SQL (1)Lab: Lab Environment Quiz
3 Lectures: Relational Data Model and SQL (2)Lab: Basic SQL Quiz
4 Lectures: Entity-Relationship ModelLab: Advanced SQL Quiz
5 Lectures: Functional DependenciesLab: Entity-Relationship Model Quiz
6 Lectures: NormalisationNo lab Quiz, Assignment on SQL
7 Lectures: Relational AlgebraLab: Functional Dependencies Quiz
8 Lectures: Query Processing and OptimisationLab: Normalisation Quiz
9 Lectures: Database SecurityLab: Relational Algebra and Query Processing Quiz
10 Lectures: Database TransactionsLab (optional): Database Programming Quiz, Assignment on Database Theory
11 Lectures: NoSQL DatabasesNo lab Quiz
12 Lectures: RevisionNo lab Test on NoSQL

Tutorial Registration

Refer to the information on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
1. Quizzes and Labs 5 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6
2. Assignment on SQL 20 % 30/08/2023 13/09/2023 1,2
3. Assignment on Database Theory 15 % 11/10/2023 25/10/2023 3,4,5
4. Test on NoSQL 5 % 27/10/2023 28/10/2023 6
5. Final Exam 55 % * * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

1. Quizzes and Labs

There will be 10 weekly online quizzes on the course Wattle site from Week 2 to Week 11. Only one attempt is allowed for each quiz. Each quiz values 0.5% and the best 6 of 10 quizzes (at most 3% in total) will be counted toward your final grade. There will be 8 two-hour lab sessions starting from Week 2. The first lab session (i.e., Lab 1 in Week 2) will be on the basic computer skills needed to do the more substantial exercises in the course. The last lab session (i.e., Lab 8 in Week 10) is to provide students with an additional opportunity to experience database programming, which will not be assessed in the assignments and exams of this course. The labs from Week 2 to Week 10 (except Week 6) in this course serve the purpose of deepening the understanding of the lecture material and preparing students for the assignments and exams. Students are encouraged to participate and engage with the labs. The engagement of each lab values 0.5% and at most four lab engagements (2% in total) will be counted toward your final grade.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 30/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 13/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

2. Assignment on SQL

The assignment on SQL covers SQL programming. This assessment should be done individually and no group work is allowed. The detailed specifications will be made available on the course Wattle site, two weeks before the due dates.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 11/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

3. Assignment on Database Theory

The assignment on database theory covers the entity-relationship model, functional dependencies, normalisation relational algebra, query processing and optimisation. This assignment should be done individually and no group work is allowed. The detailed specifications will be made available on the course Wattle site, two weeks before the due dates.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 27/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 28/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 6

4. Test on NoSQL

Test on NoSQL covers NoSQL databases and it consists of multiple-choice questions on the course Wattle site. More details will be given on the course Wattle site in Week 12.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 55 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

5. Final Exam

The final exam covers all the topics except NoSQL databases. More information will be made available on the course Wattle site in Week 12. To pass the course, it is required to obtain at least 40% in the final exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

Refer to the course Wattle site for online submission information of assignments.

Hardcopy Submission

Hard copy submission should be approved by the Associate Dean (Education).

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Graham Williams

Research Interests

Graph Algorithms and Machine Learning

Prof Graham Williams

Dr Muhammad Farhan

Research Interests

Graph Algorithms and Machine Learning

Dr Muhammad Farhan

Friday 16:00 17:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions