Course Title: File Structures and Database Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: File Structures and Database Systems

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2006


Bundoora Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2006


RMIT University Vietnam


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Viet2 2014,
Viet1 2015,
Viet3 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr. Vladimir Mariano

Course Coordinator Phone: -

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: -

Course Coordinator Availability: -

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The student should understand fundamental relational database concepts, including relational modelling and design, relational algebra, SQL, and conceptual modelling, equivalent to Database Concepts (enforced pre-requisite).   

The student should also have extensive programming skills in the C language and knowledge of data structures and algorithms, equivalent to Advanced Programming Techniques.

Course Description

The course aims to broaden knowledge of the implementation of database systems and to introduce emerging database technologies such as information retrieval, NoSQL and document databases Indexing techniques are discussed, and analytical details presented, that enable students to understand efficiency in query evaluation. The idea of the transaction is introduced along with the necessity of concurrency control and serializability. Issues of backup and recovery for databases are discussed.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should have gained a good understanding of the file structures and advanced concepts in database systems. Specifically, you should be able to:
1. Identify and analyse suitable file structures and indexing techniques for different database systems,
2. Apply query evaluation, processing, and optimisation techniques in database applications to improve the query processing,
3. Analyse transaction processing, concurrency control, and recovery techniques in database systems, and
4. Apply information retrieval techniques to efficiently retrieve documents from large text collections. 

Program Learning Outcomes

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for BP162 Bachelor of Information Technology and BP232 Bachelor of Technology (Computing Studies):

PLO1. Enabling Knowledge: You will gain skills as you apply knowledge effectively in diverse contexts.

PLO2. Critical Analysis: You will learn to accurately and objectively examine and consider computer science and information technology (IT) topics, evidence, or situations, in particular to:

  • Analyse and model requirements and constraints for the purpose of designing and implementing software artefacts and IT systems
  • Evaluate and compare designs of software artefacts and IT systems on the basis of organisational and user requirements.

PLO3. Problem Solving: Your capability to analyse problems and synthesise suitable solutions will be extended as you learn to:

  • Design and implement software solutions that accommodate specified requirements and constraints, based on analysis or modelling or requirements specification.

PLO4. Communication: You will learn to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences through a range of modes and media, in particular to:

  • Present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of software applications, alternative IT solutions, and decision recommendations to both IT and non-IT personnel via technical reports of professional standard and technical presentations.

PLO5. Team Work: You will learn to work as an effective and productive team member in a range of professional and social situations, in particular to:

  • Work effectively in different roles, to form, manage, and successfully produce outcomes from teams, whose members may have diverse cultural backgrounds and life circumstances, and differing levels of technical expertise.

PLO6. Responsibility: You will be required to accept responsibility for your own learning and make informed decisions about judging and adopting appropriate behaviour in professional and social situations. This includes accepting the responsibility for independent life-long learning. Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Effectively apply relevant standards, ethical considerations, and an understanding of legal and privacy issues to designing software applications and IT systems.


Overview of Learning Activities

Course materials will be presented, explained and illustrated with demonstrations and examples in lectures and online.  Laboratory programming exercises and projects are designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures.  Feedback on the progress of projects and understanding of concepts are regularly given. Group discussions and individual research will consolidate the understanding of theory and practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

Lists of reference texts, resources in the Library and relevant internet sites will be provided on the LMS shell.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course comprises practical work involving the development of computer programs, assignments and reports.  Students will be working in small groups and the assessment will be a combination of group level and individual level.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Assignment 1
Weighting 30%
This will assess CLOs 1, 2 and 3.

Assessment Task 2:  Assignment 2
Weighting 35%
This will assess CLOs 1, 2 and 3.

Assessment Task 3:  Assignment 3
Weighting 35%
This will assess CLOs 1 and 4.