Course Title: Design a database

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: COSC7371C

Course Title: Design a database

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5341 - Diploma of Information Technology

Course Contact: Val Christou

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5076

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Lewis                                  +61 3 9925 1615             


Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to establish client needs and technical requirements and to design a database that meets those requirements.

It applies to individuals employed as database administrators and designers who are required to design databases.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ICTDBS502 Design a database


1. Determine database requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1  Meet with client and conduct a user-needs analysis to determine database functionality
1.2  Analyse results of user-needs analysis to identify technical requirements
1.3  Develop a conceptual model of the database
1.4  Submit conceptual model to client for review
1.5  Evaluate client feedback and make changes as required


2. Develop a logical data model

Performance Criteria:

2.1  Identify attributes and determine data types
2.2  Undertake normalisation of attributes
2.3  Develop entity relationship diagram to clarify cardinality of relationships
2.4  Document attributes, normalised data and entity relationship diagram
2.5  Forward documentation to client for confirmation


3. Design the data structures

Performance Criteria:

3.1  Confirm primary and foreign keys for tables
3.2  Review client business rules
3.3  Identify referential integrity constraints
3.4  Establish database-management system constraints and incorporate into database design
3.5  Develop validation rules for data
3.6  Design indexes and develop data dictionary
3.7  Document the database design


4. Design queries, screens and reports

Performance Criteria:

4.1  Design user interface for database, including menus, input screens and outputs
4.2  Design queries based on requirements
4.3  Design output reports based on requirements
4.4  Compare physical design with conceptual model or user-needs analysis
4.5  Incorporate changes as required


5. Design access and security systems

Performance Criteria:

5.1  Review business security plan as basis for commencing access and security design
5.2  Design password and access system for database
5.3  Identify multiple-user requirements
5.4  Develop client access profiles using client business model


6. Confirm the database design

Performance Criteria:

6.1  Identify database backup and recovery requirements
6.2  Develop and document the database backup and restore procedures
6.3  Submit database and documentation to client for final approval

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom based activities.

Learning activities will include laboratory-based sessions on a variety of topics as shown in the weekly breakdown.  Learning activities will generally consist of practical computer exercises based on teacher handouts.  Students should attend all sessions.

Students will also be expected to undertake work on a small database project and other activities for homework.

The collaborative classroom based activities will include group discussion, group problem solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.

We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.


Teaching Schedule

The Teaching Schedule for this course is as follows:

Please note that this course, ICADBS502 - Design a database, is co-delivered and co-assessed holistically along with ICAICT509- Gather data to identify business requirements.

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities

The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course.  This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities. 

Week Week Commencing Topics Assessment Competencies Delivered 
1 8th Feb 2016 

Introduction to the course including:
•  Course requirements
•  Course support documents
•  Course Blackboard access
•  Accuracy of enrolment
•  Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
•  Reminder re Plagiarism
•  Reminder re Appeals
•  Extensions/Resubmissions
•  Feedback in this courser
•  Reminder re submission requirements
•  Getting help

Introduction to DB design
•  Course introduction & overview. Relational database concepts.
•  Introduction to Access. Web forms & data entry. 2-table relationships


2 15th Feb 2016  Key sources of data. Business rules.
Basic ERDs. 1:M relationships & foreign keys

Project Specifications issued.
Project Teams selected

3 22nd Feb 2016  Business documents & business rules.
More on ERDs: M:N relationships & bridging tables
  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
4 29th Feb 2016  Gathering data. Referential integrity.
Building up complex ERDs
5 7th March 2016 

Developing questions. Conceptual, logical & physical models.
Forms & sub-forms

  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)

14th March 2016 

(Labour Day PH

Mon 14th Mar)

Analysing data. Suitable data types.
Redundancy, dependencies & normalisation

ASSESSMENT 1 - Individual Design Draft due ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)

21st March 2016

(4 days)

SQL Server installation & tables. Intro to security.
DB requirements & design improvements

  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
    MID-SEMESTER BREAK (24th March to 30th March 2016 inclusive)    

28th March 2016

(2 days online)

 SQL Server installation & tables. Intro to security.
DB requirements & design improvements.
Thu 31st Mar & Fri 1st Apr classes will run online
8 4th April 2016 

Data integrity & data validation.
Groupable data. Forms & reports

ASSESSMENT 1 - Individual Design Update due

9  11th April 2016

SQL Server security: logins, database roles & permissions. Class work on project

  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
10 18th April 2016 

Review of normalisation.
Class work on project & documentation

ASSESSMENT 1 - Team Design Part 1 due ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)

 25th April 2016

(Anzac Day PH
Mon 25th Apr)

Backup & restore procedures in SQL Server
Review of client requirements. Data dictionaries

  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
12 2nd May 2016 

Reports with grouped data
Format of security & backup plans

13 9th May 2016  Class work on project & documentation.
Revision for Skills Review
  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
14 16th May 2016 

Skills Review conducted
Final class work on project & documentation.

ASSESSMENT 2 - Skills Review ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)
15 23rd May 2016 

Project submission & demonstrations

 16 30th May 2016 

Re-submission of work if required.
Course & assessment feedback

  ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C)

You will receive feedback two weeks from the due date of each task. If required, resubmissions are due by the end of the following week.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed textbook for this course.  However presentations and handouts given out in class should be quite useful.


Pratt, P & Last, Z (2014), Concepts of Database Management, 8th edn, Cengage Learning,
ISBN-13: 978-1285427102

This is a good introductory level text suitable for this course.  Older editions of this text are also useful, and a number of copies are available from the RMIT Library.

Stephens, R (2009), Beginning Database Design Solutions, Wiley, Print ISBN: 978-0-470-38549-4

Although from 2009, this text is pitched at a good introductory level, and is available free of charge as an e-book via the RMIT Library Website.

Other Resources

Students may also refer to various Websites as indicated their teacher.

Overview of Assessment

In order to achieve competency in this unit, you must provide:

Performance Evidence

 Evidence of the ability to:

  • identify and confirm client requirements for a database application
  • design database elements including:
  • structure
  • indexes
  • queries
  • screens
  • reports
  • design secure access to the database
  • confirm final database design with the client.

Knowledge Evidence

To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, you must:

  • explain the process of data analysis, particularly in determining data types and data structures, query and report design
  • describe the data modelling related to developing the conceptual data model
  • explain how data redundancy is identified
  • describe database management system (DBMS) fundamentals, particularly during the design phase
  • explain encryption and authentication as these apply to database security features
  • outline the functions and features of data types, and data structures
  • describe the functions, and features, of databases
  • describe logical design concepts, particularly those related to designing data structures, queries screens and reports
  • outline the object model design concepts, particularly those related to designing data structures, queries, screens and reports
  • explain the term ‘scalability’ as it applies to databases.

 Assessment Conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance in conditions that are safe and replicate the workplace. Noise levels, production flow, interruptions and time variances must be typical of those experienced in the database field of work, and include access to:

  • equipment and materials
  • current industry accepted database software
  • network or other system for remote or multi-user access
  • business requirements
  • computer-aided software engineering (CASE) or diagramming software.

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions.  You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed. Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.       

Assessment Tasks

Please note that this course, ICTDBS502 (COSC7371C) Design a database, is co-delivered and co-assessed holistically along with ICTICT509 (COSC7357C) Gather data to identify business requirements

You are required to complete 2 assessments.  You must successfully complete all sections of each assessment task to be deemed competent in this unit.

NOTE: Details about specific tasks and assessment criteria will be included in the Cover Sheet(s) for each task.

ASSESSMENT 1 - Database Project


For this assessment task you will be asked to plan and develop a small business database for an on-line business from scratch in consultation with key stakeholders. You will first need to identify information sources, gather data and confirm key client database requirements. You will work in a team to manage this project efficiently.

In order to be deemed competent in this task you will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of areas including the following key areas:
• Skills in gathering and analysing data to determine requirements
• Ability to produce ERDs for a wide variety of scenarios
• Ability to create Access data structures to test your designs
• Ability to normalise your tables to store data effectively
• Ability to create objects such as forms and reports
• Documentation of security and recovery procedures

Work for each stage of the project (outlined below) should be submitted on the due date, as per the Teaching Schedule. You will be expected to submit and retain soft copies of any documents required. In some cases printouts may be required.

DATABASE PROPOSAL (Team Submission) - Due Week 4
Initial draft of proposal outlining details elicited by questioning client including:
o Area of business operations, as well as purpose & scope of database project
o Key business processes such sales, ordering & stock control
o Technical constraints including hardware & software eg. DBMS
o Any key business rules & particular design requirements
o Any issues requiring further clarification from key stakeholders (further questions)
o Outline of deliverables & timeline for project stages, including simple Gantt chart
o Team member responsibilities & communication plan
o Sample business documents e.g. forms & reports from current system

DATABASE DESIGN (Individual & Team Components) - Due Week 12
o Individual Design Draft - Due Week 6
 First draft of ERD (with cardinalities) created in VISIO with Access Relationships
o Individual Design Update - Due Week 8
 Updated ERD & Access Relationships (for client confirmation after normalisation)
 Some sample data inserted into tables in Access
o Team Design Part 1 - Due Week 10
 ERD and Relationships for whole group (final conceptual & logical models)
 Data structures implemented eg. keys, constraints, indexes & validation rules
o Team Design Part 2 - Due Week 12
 Data dictionary & business rules finalised (physical model)
 Client requirements validated. Questions on client requirements

DATABASE IMPLEMENTATION (Individual & Team Components) - Due Week 15
o Final version of database with sample data entered as required
o Queries, forms and reports as specified (Individual Submission)
o Final project documentation including security, backup & recovery procedures

Students will receive feedback or confirmation at each stage in relation to client requirements. In many cases changes or modifications will be required. It is therefore vital that any design documentation and other work required for each stage be submitted in a timely manner.
Late submissions of work required for any stage of this project will be eligible for grading at CAG (competency Achieved) level only.

General Points
• All documents are to be presented in portfolio form ie. a folder of documents submitted on Blackboard
• Each document should include a header (eg with the name of the document and team members’ names) and a footer (eg with the date and page number).
• All team members must sign the assessment cover sheet(s).
• Soft copies are to be retained by all team members as backups. Google Docs is preferred.
• RMIT academic discipline procedures will apply in cases of plagiarism. Students should use Turnitin to avoid plagiarism.

ASSESSMENT 2 - Skills Review (Conducted in Week 14)

For this assessment task you will be asked to analyse data models and design data structures, forms and reports for some simple scenarios. You will be able to review and verify your designs on your computer with reference to Web and other resources including DBMS software.

You will also be questioned on the information sources (eg. key documents & questions) as well as techniques used in gathering data, such as reviewing reports. You will also need to be able to analyse simple data to in order to confirm database requirements.

Some knowledge of security and data recovery concepts and procedures will also be required.

To be deemed competent in this task you will be expected to demonstrate your knowledge of the skills and concepts covered in all sections of the course.

Assessment Matrix

The Assessment Matrix that maps all assessments to the critical aspects of evidence, skills, knowledge and elements is available from the teacher.

Other Information

Submission Requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via the Learning Hub (Blackboard).

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. 
  • Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (hard copy and soft copy).
  • When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship.  You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work.  On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work.  An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on Blackboard. 
  • Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers.  For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.

More information:

Form to use:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration.  Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.

More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w (unresolved)

Form to use:

Resubmissions (VET Programs)

If you are found to be unsuccessful in a Course Assessment Task you will be allowed one resubmission only.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission.  The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is "CAG".

If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course.  Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment.  For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following Website:

More Information:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Marking Guide (Competency)

You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.

Marking Guide (Grading)

After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit and you will achieve one of the following grades:

Final Grades Table:

CHD     Competent with High Distinction
CDI      Competent with Distinction
CC       Competent with Credit
CAG     Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC     Not Yet Competent
DNS     Did Not Submit for assessment

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview