Official course description, subject to change:
Preliminary info last published 1/10-19

Introduction to Database Design, MSc SD

Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants min:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price (single subject):
10625 DKK (incl. vat)
MSc. Master
Master of Science in Information Technology (Software Design)
Course semester
EfterÄr 2020
24 August 2020
31 January 2021

This course gives an introduction to the evolution of the data management landscape during the past 4-5 decades, with particular emphasis on relational databases and recent hardware trends.


An important problem solved by computers is that of data storage and retrieval: E.g., to store efficiently the grade at every course of every student of the ITU University obtained in the last 5 years; and the ability to query such a database, i.e., find the grades of all students who enrolled after 2016 and who did not take a given course. This problem arises very broadly, in essentially every sector, every industry, and every application.

The course gives an introduction to relational databases as well as an introduction to data analytics, both from a practical and theoretical point of view.

The main part of the course deals with relational databases, including theory and practice for modeling and querying a database. Towards the end of the course the focus will be on techniques for data analytics.

For relational databases the following topics will be covered:

  • Programming in SQL, including all basic operations as well as some more advanced constructions (e.g. subqueries).
  • Other basic concepts related to relational databases and SQL, such as views, procedures, triggers, etc.
  • Using SQL in applications, e.g. Java-applications.
  • Database design using E-R modelling.
  • Defining a database design using the relational model and SQL schemas.
  • Normalization of relations.
  • Query processing and optimization basics.
  • Use of different indexes, including hash indexes, B-tree indexes, non-clustered and clustered indexes.
  • Transactional concepts and transaction handling.

For data analytics the following topics will be covered:

  • Approaches to data analytics (including OLAP and data warehousing).
  • Introduction to data wrangling/processing.
  • Societal context, including ethics concerns.
  • Distributed map-reduce processing.

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Write SQL queries, involving multiple relations, compound conditions, grouping, aggregation, and subqueries.
  • Use relational DBMSs from a conventional programming language in a secure manner.
  • Suggest a database design in the E-R model and convert to a relational database schema in a suitable normal form.
  • Analyze/predict/improve query processing efficiency of the designed database using indices.
  • Reflect upon the evolution of the hardware and storage hierarchy and its impact on data management system design.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of different classes of data systems for modern analytics and data science applications.
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
A: Written exam on premises, external (7-trinsskala)
Exam variation:
A22: Written exam on premises with restrictions.
Exam description:

LearnIT exam with restricted networks

The final grade is based solely on the written examination. 

The duration of the written examination on premises is 4 hours with the following restrictions: 

1. Physical copies of the course textbook and other printed materials are permitted. 

2. e-books on laptops, iPads, and other e-book readers are permitted. 

3. Use of a local DBMS on your laptop is permitted. 

4. Accessing material posted on the course web-page on LearnIT is permitted. 

5. It is *not* permitted that you access any other information from the internet, including newsgroups, social media, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. or elsewhere that is not in book form. 

6. Use of pocket calculator is not permitted.

Students should bring a computer with wifi and with the MySQL database system installed.