Course Title: Design a database

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: COSC6111C

Course Title: Design a database

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5300 - Diploma of Information Technology

Course Contact : Chandra Nannegari

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 1657

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Name: Paul Lewis

Office Phone: +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 performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to establish client needs and technical requirements and to design a database that meets those requirements.  Students will be required  to  design a small business database, and then test their design in a modern database management system (DBMS).

This unit is delivered using a blend of classroom based and self-paced learning activities.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ICADBS502A Design a database


6. Confirm 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


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 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 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

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 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.

WeekWeek CommencingTopicsAssessmentCompetencies Delivered 
111th Feb 2013

Pre-training review:
• LLN as required

Familiarisation with:
• Program
• Services/facilities
• Other students
• Teacher(s)
• Where to get support
• Student responsibilities
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Pre-reading
• Blackboard

Overview of assessment requirements:
• Grading
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Extensions
• Feedback
• Privacy
• Submission requirements
• Resubmission policy

Introduction to DB Design:
• Course introduction & overview
• Relational database concepts
• Introduction to Access 2010
• Web forms & data entry

218th Feb 2013

Key sources of data. Database requirements. Basic ERDs 1:M relationships & foreign keys

TASK 1 - Project Specs issued
TASK 1 - Project Teams selected
325th Feb 2013Business documents & business rules. More on ERDs: M:N relationships & bridging tables ICADBS502A
44th Mar 2013Gathering data. Referential integrity. Data entry for 1:M and M:N relationshipsTASK 1 - Project Proposal dueICADBS502A
511th Mar 2013Developing questions. Conceptual, logical & physical models. Building up complex ERDs ICADBS502A
618th Mar 2013Analysing data. Redundancy, dependencies & normalisationTASK 1 - Project Stage 1 dueICADBS502A
725th Mar 2013Database requirements. More on normalisation. Database design improvements ICADBS502A
MID-SEMESTER BREAK (28th Mar - 3rd Apr 2013 inclusive)
71st Apr 2013Database requirements. More on normalisation. Database design improvements ICADBS502A
88th Apr 2013Documenting data structures. Data dictionaries. Class work on projectTASK 1 - Project Stage 2 dueICADBS502A
915th Apr 2013DBMS Integrity constraints. Types of indexes. Class work on project ICADBS502A
1022nd Apr 2013Data validation rules. Class work on projectTASK 1 - Project Stage 3 dueICADBS502A
1129th Apr 2013Database queries, forms & reports. Class work on project ICADBS502A
126th May 2013Introduction to SQL Server. Authentication. Class work on project & database documentationTASK 1 - Project Stage 4 due ICADBS502A
1313th May 2013Security in a multi-user DBMS. Database backup & recovery procedures ICADBS502A
1420th May 2013Final class work on project. Skills Review conductedTASK 2 - Skills ReviewICADBS502A
1527th May 2013Final project submission & demonstrationsTASK 1 - Final Project due
(beginning of first class)
 163rd Jun 2013Course & assessment feedback. Re-submission of work if required ICADBS502A

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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

This text is available free of charge as an e-book via the RMIT Library Website.


Another very good introductory text suitable for this course is:

Pratt, P & Adamski, J (2012), Concepts of Database Management, 7th edn, Thomson Course Technology, ISBN 978-1-111-82591-1

Other Resources

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

Overview of Assessment

Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of competency to be deemed competent.

A range of assessment methods are used to assess practical skills and knowledge, for example:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • review of authenticated documents from the workplace or training environment
  • demonstration of techniques

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

You are required to complete 2 tasks. You must successfully complete each task to be deemed competent in this unit.

TASK 1 - Database Project (Due Dates: Refer to Teaching Schedule)

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 ket 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.

Project Proposal (Team): Initial draft of proposal outlining details elicited by questioning the client
  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 e.g. DBMS
  o Any key business rules & particular database 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

Project Stage 1 (Individual):
  o First draft of ERD (with cardinalities) created in Visio with Access Relationships

Project Stage 2 (Individual):
  o Updated ERD & Access Relationships (for client confirmation after normalisation)
  o Some sample data inserted into tables in Access

Project Stage 3 (Team):
  o ERD & Relationships for whole group (final conceptual & logical models)

Project Stage 4 (Team):
  o Data dictionary & business rules finalised (physical model)
  o Data structures implemented e.g. keys, constraints, indexes & validation rules
  o Sample data entry completed (all tables)

Final Project (Team):
  o Final version of database, including queries, forms and reports
  o Final project documentation, including access, 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.

TASK 2 - Skills Review (Date: Refer to Teaching Schedule)

For this assessment task you will be asked to develop data models and design data structures, forms and reports for some simple scenarios under test conditions. You will be able to develop and verify your designs on your computer with reference to Web and other resources.

You will also be questioned on information sources (e.g. 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 in order to confirm database requirements.

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

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Submission Requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via Blackboard.

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
  • Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Resubmission Guide:

Once a student has submitted an assessment task, a resubmission may be granted if deemed NYC. On resubmission, a student will not receive a grade higher than CAG (Competency achieved).

Marking Guide (Competency)

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on current industry needs and the focus on preparing you for the workplace. Because VET courses are informed by practical application of knowledge and skills, they are based on a system known as ‘competency based training’ (CBT).

So when you are assessed in VET it is about whether you are competent to do the job, as well as having a firm grasp on the knowledge and skills required to do that job, as opposed to traditional curriculum based education settings that are often based on knowledge retention.

You need to demonstrate you are competent in each element of the unit of competency you are studying.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you whether you are competent or not and how well you are performing. Once competent in all elements of the unit you receive a competency grading.

Please refer to the Final Grades table below.

Marking Guide (Grading):

After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit; this gives you the opportunity to have the level of your performance formally recognized against industry standards and employability skills.

The grading will include the following criteria:


We are looking for a high level of ability to complete all tasks independently as per the specifications. You should endeavour to demonstrate a high level of initiative in your approach to gathering data and designing your databases, particularly in the team project.


We are looking for depth of understanding of the key concepts and knowledge required to gather data and design a database. You should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of information gathering and data modelling techniques in each of the assessment tasks.


We are looking for a high level of skill in data gathering and database design techniques. In particular you will need to be familiar with the appropriate technology such as modern database management systems, including multi-user systems.

You will need also need to show an understanding of the kinds of problems that can arise in designing a  database and how these might be addressed. You will need to demonstrate a dgree of perseverence, and be able to use normalisation techniques to improve your designs.


You should aim to attend all class sessions and save your solutions to all exercises and assessment tasks you have completed, for example on your home drive or USB device. An organised folder structure is highly recommended.

It will be very advantageous to prepare for and review class materials using suggested resources, such as the recommended textbook or Websites indicated by your teacher.

We also expect to see ongoing progress your portfolio of documents for the project, full utilisation of Blackboard as per course guidelines and timely submission of all assessment tasks.


We expect to see contributions to relevant discussions and scheduled group sessions. For the project in particular you will need to work effectively in a team, and manage your work to ensure timely completion and client approval. You should therefore also liaise with key stakeholders, such as your client or teacher, on a regular basis throughout the project.

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