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Introduction to Database Technology

Short name: DT
SITS code: COIY068H4
Credits: 15
Level: 4
Module leader: Peter Wood, Tingting Han
Online material:


  • To introduce the basics of relational database design using the Open Source Relational Database Management System MySQL.
  • To introduce a range of data retrieval methods using MySQL.
  • To apply these techniques to a small business case study.
  • To develop a range of professional IT skills enabling students to apply relational database open source technology in the workplace.


  • Relational databases: uses; advantages/disadvantages; comparison with flat-file databases.
  • Relational Database Management Systems: MySQL and benefits of open source software.
  • Basic database concepts: Entities and attributes; tables and relationships; primary and foreign keys; data types.
  • Gain experience in the use of the SQL query language for data definition and data manipulation. This module provides a practical grounding for further study of information systems.
  • Database design: Use of entity-relationship diagrams to model user requirements; database documentation.
  • Data manipulation: Enter, update and delete data; define criteria to retrieve specified data; use JOIN to retrieve data from multiple tables.


  • Good IT skills.
  • Use of file compression tools (compress files, extract compressed files using WinZip).
  • Folder and file management (create, rename and organise folders, recognise filetypes from their file extension, change folder options).
  • Web searching using a browser (save a web page, view a page source, open local files, adding to favourites, change browser settings, use History menu, download resources).


Indicative timetables can be found in the handbooks available on programme pages. Personalised teaching timetables for students are available via My Birkbeck.