Database Systems (DAT220)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of database systems. The course includes basic database theory, data modeling, relational database, SQL and transactions. The course teaches how to design a good database and how to apply a database system.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


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Semester tution start


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A database is a system for storing and retrieving data, typically working with large amounts of data. A user of computer systems rarely directly interacts with a database since it is more often used by an application that the user is using rather than directly by the user. However, almost all applications nowadays use some form of a database. Understanding databases is thus important both for those who create databases and those who use them in their applications.

This course discusses data modelling, use of relational and non-relational databases, query optimization, transactions, as well as basic indexing structures and search algorithms. Data modeling means setting up a model or overview of the data that one wants to store. Relational databases are the most commonly used form of database system and non-relational databases allow using more flexible data models. Query optimization is a set of methods for designing more efficient queries. Transactions enable more users to use database systems at the same time.

Learning outcome


  • Describe what a relational database is and explain the basics of how a relational database works
  • Describe what a transaction is, what properties it has and explain why databases use transactions
  • Characterize different kinds of database systems
  • Compare and debate different database concepts


  • Create a data model using ER diagrams
  • Design a relational database based on a data model using standard methodology
  • Design efficient SQL queries
  • Develop an application that uses a database

General competence:

  • Apply a database as part of a software development process

Required prerequisite knowledge

The student is expected to know programming at the level of DAT120 and web programming at the level of DAT310.

Recommended prerequisites

DAT120 Introduction to Programming, DAT200 Algorithms and Datastructures, DAT310 Web Programming


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 1/1 4 Hours Letter grades Valid calculator

Digital exam

Coursework requirements


Throughout the semester students work individually on assignments as well as on a practical group project. Both assignments and group projects are mandatory and must be passed within the announced deadline so that the student has the right to take the exam.

Absence due to illness or for other reasons must be communicated to the laboratory personnel as soon as possible. One cannot expect that provisions for completion of lab assignments at other times are made unless prior arrangements with the laboratory personnel have been agreed upon.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Antorweep Chakravorty

Course teacher:

Petra Galuscakova

Course coordinator:

Petra Galuscakova

Coordinator laboratory exercises:

Rodrigo Queiroz Saramago

Course teacher:

Ferhat Özgur Catak

Head of Department:

Tom Ryen

Method of work

The work will consist of 6 hours of lecture, scheduled laboratory, and supervised group work per week. Students are expected to spend an additional 6-8 hours a week on self-study, group discussions, and development work.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Database systems (BID190_1) 10
Data modelling (BID120_1) 6
Data modelling (TE0569_1) 6

Open for

Computer Science - Bachelor in Engineering
Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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