Fundamentals of Relational Databases CS252 - 2006

Exam Info

Find a mockup exam here. You can obtain old exams from the secretary, or on the web .

Aims and Objectives

The academic aims, learning outcomes and module content are described here.

This course is a pre-requisite for 'CS253 - Topics in Database Systems' and 'CS319 - Theory of Databases'


There is no single book for this course. Much of the lecture material is covered in Date. The Date book "Database Systems" may be useful for those students going on to take the 3rd year Theory of Databases course. The Connolly & Begg book has good material on data modelling. In general, the newer books have better examples and more detailed chapters on SQL. You will find plenty of web resources for SQL, and tutorials on SQL (some links are provided below). The "Database in Depth" book is cheaper but still covers a lot of the material.

C. Date, "An Introduction to Database Systems", Addison-Wesley Longman, 2003 (8th ed.)

C. Date, "Database in Depth: The Relational Model for Practitioners", O'Reilly, 2005

C. Begg, T. Connolly, "Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management (International Computer Science S.)", Addison-Wesley Longman, 2004 (4th ed.)

C. Date, "The Relational Database Dictionary", O'Reilly, 2006

Module Organisers

Dr Alexandra Cristea
Hugh Darwen (web), Room 115 (part-time)
Timothy Heron (web)
Zabin Visram (web), Room 115 (part-time)

Lecture Timetable Term 1, 2006/07

Week Monday 11:05am, PLT Thursday 1:05pm, MS.01 Friday 1:05pm, PLT Worksheets Seminars
Friday 11am, B209
Friday 2pm, CS101
1   Introduction Values, Types, Variables, Operators Worksheet 1  
2 Predicates and Propositions Relational Algebra, Part I SQL Part 1 and ppt Worksheet 2 Seminar 1
3 Relational Algebra, Part II Relational Algebra, Part III SQL Part 2and ppt Worksheet 3 Seminar 2
4 Constraints and Updating Database Design I SQL Part 3and ppt Worksheet 4 Seminar 3
5 Database Design II SQL Part 4and ppt
SQL Part 5and ppt Worksheet 5
Seminar 4
6         Seminar 5


Worksheets will be handed out in lectures and should be attempted before the seminar for that worksheet.


Seminars will be held by Zabin Visram on Friday's in Room B209 at 11am and in Room CS101 at 2pm. The seminars will be used to go through the exercise sheets and answer any queries about SQL.

SQL Resources

Oracle 9i is available on the ITS machine mimosa. To set this up for the first time you should log on and enter:
$ orasetup
Then logout and use the command sqlplus / to enter the SQL terminal client.
$ sqlplus /
To run the graphical SQL interpreter, type
$ sqlwksheet
Press OK on the login screen - you do not need to enter a username or password.

Oracle Support

If you have a problem with the Oracle system on mimosa then please contact the IT Services Help Desk

Online Resources

Simple guide to Sql*Plus
Oracle 9i Documentation
A First Course in Databases
Tutorial D Reference

Rel Resources

How to run Rel at DCS
Rel Homepage


The coursework will comprise an assignment (worth 30%) given out during the lecture on Friday 3rd November, Week 5 (and will appear here). The deadline will be Friday 1st December (Week 9).

The Exam

The exam is scheduled for the Summer Term 2007.

Past Exam Papers

CS252 is a new module and no past exam papers specifically exist for this module. In previous years the module CS233 covered material relating to relational databases and SQL. You should use the relevant past CS233 exam questions for your revision. CS233 covered a greater range of material than CS252 (some of which is now covered in CS253 - Topics in Database Systems) so do not base your revision on past exam questions that are not relevant. Past exam papers are available for download from here and questions can be asked on the module forum or by email. Also note that Tutorial D was not included in CS233 until 2005.

More Information...

Please check the latest posting on the course newsgroup or forum :

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