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COMP210: Database Design (F'08)
Course Outline

Class times: 10am - Noon Monday, 9am - Noon Tuesday

Classroom: T1030

Instructor: Dave Rogers


Office phone: 668-8810

Office hours: by appointment

Course website:

Course Description

Databases are the foundation of any information system. All organizations, large and small, must rely on data management in all aspects of business operations. In this course we shall concern ourselves with the techniques required to implement good database design both in theory and in practice. The concepts introduced during the course will be materialized in a term-long project.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, you will:

  • understand the role and nature of relational database management systems (RDBMS) in today's IT environment;
  • translate written business requirements into conceptual entity-relationship data models;
  • convert conceptual data models into relational database schemas using the SQL Data Definition Language (DDL);
  • query and manipulate databases using the SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML); and
  • become familiar with the PostgreSQL RDBMS.

Delivery Methods/Format

Approximately three hours per week of lectures will consist mainly of presentations and demonstrations by the instructor.

A one-and-a-half to two-hour lab will feature practical hands-on exercises to be completed by the students with assistance from the instructor.

Students will be expected to take notes during classes to study from and to use in completing the course assignments. assistance.

Class time alone will not be enough to learn the material. To develop the necessary skills you should plan on spending between one and three hours in preparation, study and practice outside class for every hour of direct instruction, i.e. 3 to 9 hours per week.


Admission to the second year of study is the only prerequisite for students in the Computer Studies program. Experience with relational database management systems (RDBMS) is an asset, but not required. Admission to the course may also be granted at the instructor's discretion.


Attendance and Participation

Attendance is mandatory. A student may be dismissed from a course if more than ten percent (10%) of the scheduled contact hours are missed in any one course (Yukon College Academic Regulations, §4.01). Dismissal from a course may result in loss of full-time status and loss of sponsorship funding.

Missing a quiz or examination (either by absence or arriving too late to write) will normally mean forfeiture of the mark. An opportunity to write a missed quiz will be granted only for documented medical illness or similar emergency. Vacation scheduling is not an acceptable excuse for missing or re-scheduling a quiz or examination.

In the interest of minimizing distractions during class, students are asked not to perform the following activities during a scheduled class:

  • Sending or receiving e-mail
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Downloading or transferring files from the Internet
  • Playing computer games

There are instances where your instructor may ask you to do the above during class, in which case these activities would be acceptable. Students will be given a verbal warning the first time they are caught doing the above. The second time, a written warning will be given. A third offence will result in being compelled to leave the class.

Dishonesty and Plagiarism

The assignments are individual assignments and group submissions are not permitted. All submissions should be original work prepared for that specific assignment. To copy another person's work or present it as your own will result in penalties. Note that plagiarism is defined not only as submitting someone else's work as yours, but also includes submitting the same assignment for more than one course without the explicit permission of the instructor. The penalties for plagiarism include receiving a mark of 0 for the assignment, a mark of F for the course and expulsion from the College.



Eight quizzes will be held on specific dates throughout the term, covering the material taught in the lecture and lab. The one quiz with the lowest mark will be discarded from the term evaluation. Quizzes may not be rescheduled, except in exceptional circumstances and only where prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.

Term Project

The students will be required to model a real life database scenario, create and populate the resulting database schema, and write SQL statements to query and manipulate the data. The project will be marked as a series of deliverables submitted on specified dates throughout the term. Late deliverables will be penalized 20% per working day, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.

Final Examination

The Final Exam will cover all aspects of the course.


Component Weight
Quizzes (best 7 of 8) 35%
Term Project 35%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

Letter grading will follow the College's standard, which can be found in the Letter Grading section of the Academic Regulations in the College Calendar.

Required Textbooks/Materials

"SQL: Visual QuickStart Guide, 3rd Edition" (Chris Fehily, Peachpit Press, ISBN 0-321-55357-8). We'll primarily use this text for just the second half of the course. The second edition of the book is also acceptable.

Some readings will also be assigned from the Internet.