Course Title: Design a database

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

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

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 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


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


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

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

 Learning activities will include laboratory-based sessions on a variety of topics as shown in the Teaching Schedule below. 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 Web project and other activities for homework.


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.

Week Week Commencing Topics Assessment Competencies Delivered 
1 7th Jul 2014 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. Web forms & data entry. 2-table relationships


2 14th Jul 2014 Key sources of data. Business rules. Basic ERDs. 1:M relationships & foreign keys Project Specs issued
Project Teams selected
3 21st Jul 2014 Business documents & business rules. More on ERDs: M:N relationships & bridging tables   ICADBS502A
4 28th Jul 2014 Gathering data. Referential integrity. Building up complex ERDs TASK 1 - Project Proposal due ICADBS502A
5 4th Aug 2014

Developing questions. Conceptual, logical & physical models. Forms & subforms

6 11th Aug 2014

Analysing data. Data types. Redundancy, dependencies & normalisation

TASK 1 - Project Stage 1 due ICADBS502A
7 18th Aug 2014

DB requirements. More on normalisation. Database design improvements.

8 25th Aug 2014

Groupable data, data integrity & data validation. Review of forms & reports

TASK 1 - Project Stage 2 due

MID-SEMESTER BREAK (Mon 1st Sep to Sun 7th Sep 2014 inclusive)  
9 8th Sep 2014

Bridging tables & data entry. Reports with grouping.
Class work on project & documentation

10 15th Sep 2014

Data dictionaries. Intro to SQL Server. Authentication methods.
Class work on project & documentation

TASK 1 - Project Stage 3 due ICADBS502A
11 22nd Sep 2014

Security in a multi-user DBMS.
Class work on project & documentation

12 29th Sep 2014

Database backup & recovery procedures.
Class work on project & documentation

TASK 1 - Project Stage 4 & Documentation due ICADBS502A
13 6th Oct 2014 Class work on project & documentation.
Revision for Skills Review
14 13th Oct 2014

Final class work on project & documentation.
Skills Review conducted

TASK 2 - Skills Review ICADBS502A
15 20th Oct 2014

Project submission & demonstrations

TASK 1 - Final Project & Documentation due (first class) ICADBS502A
 16 27th Oct 2014

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


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.


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

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

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 two assessments. You must successfully complete all sections of each assessment tasks 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 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.

Project Proposal (Team - Due Week 4): Initial draft of proposal outlining details elicited by questioning client:

•  Area of business operations, as well as purpose & scope of database project
•  Key business processes such sales, ordering & stock control
•  Technical constraints including hardware &software e.g. DBMS
•  Any key business rules & particular design requirements
•  Any issues requiring further clarification from key stakeholders (further questions)
•  Outline of deliverables & timeline for project stages, including simple Gantt chart
•  Team member responsibilities & communication plan 
•  Sample business documents e.g. forms & reports from current system

Project Stage 1 (Individual - Due Week 6):

•  First draft of ERD (with cardinalities) created in Visio with Access Relationships

Project Stage 2 (Individual - Due Week 8):

•  Updated ERD & Access Relationships (for client confirmation after normalisation)
•  Some sample data inserted into tables in Access

Project Stage 3 (Team - Due Week 10):

•  ERD and Relationships for whole group (final conceptual & logical models)

Project Stage 4 & Documentation (Team - Due Week 12):

•  Data dictionary & business rules finalised (physical model)
•  Data structures implemented e.g. keys, constraints, indexes & validation rules
•  Sample data entry completed (all tables)

Final Project & Documentation (Team - Due Week 15):

•  Final version of database, including queries, forms and reports
•  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.

Late submissions of work required for any stage of this project will be eligible for grading at CAG (Competency Achieved) level only

TASK 2 – Skills Review (Week 14)

For this assessment task you will be asked to develop data models and design data structures, forms and reports for some simple scenarios. 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 the 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 to in order to confirm database requirements.

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

Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

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. 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)

• 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

Form to use:

Resubmissions (VET Programs):

If you are found to be Not Yet Competent 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):

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

You 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 degree of perseverance, 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 your 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