Fundamentals of Relational Databases CS252 - 2008/9

Last year's page can be found here.

Exam Info

New: Exam feedback

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


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)
Zabin Visram (web), Room 115 (part-time)
Adrian Hudnott (Tutorial-D, Oracle, discussion site support)

Lecture Timetable Term 1, 2008/09

Term starts on Monday 29th September, therefore the first CS252 lecture will be on the 30th September
Tues 2-3, Thurs 1-2, Fri 1-2
Seminars are timetable for Mon 2-4


Tuesday 2:05pm, room L4

Thursday 1:05pm, room LIB2

Friday 1:05pm, room L4


Monday 2pm, room CS101
Monday 3pm, room CS101

1 (29Sep-3Oct)


SQL Part 1 with notes and pdf ; pdf slides only and old pdf

Values, Types, Variables, Operators

Worksheet 1


2 (6-10Oct)

Predicates and Propositions

Relational Algebra, Part I

Relational Algebra, Part II

Worksheet 2

Seminar 1

3 (13-17Oct)

Relational Algebra, Part III

SQL Part 2 with notes and pdf ; pdf slides only and old pdf

Constraints and Updating

Worksheet 3

Seminar 2

4 (20-24Oct)

Database Design I

SQL Part 3 with notes and pdf; pdf slides only and old pdf

SQL Part 4 with notes and pdf; pdf slides only and old pdf

Worksheet 4

Seminar 3

5 (27-31Oct)

Database Design II

SQL Part 5 with notes and pdf; pdf slides only and old pdf


Worksheet 5

Seminar 4

6 (3-7Nov)





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 Monday’s in Room CS101 at 2pm and  3pm. 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 / 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

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 Thursday the 30th of October, Week 5 (and will appear here). The deadline will be Friday 28th of November (Week 9).

The Exam

The exam is scheduled for the Summer Term 2008.

Past Exam Papers

Past exam papers are available for download from here and questions can be asked on the module forum or by email.

More Information...

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


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