The University of Southampton

COMP1204 Data Management

Module Overview

This module aims to:

  • Explain the role of database systems in information management.
  • Introduce students to standard UNIX tools and techniques (e.g., vi editor, ed, sed and awk).
  • Develop the student's skills in the effective use of Unix tools for document preparation, software development and system administration.
  • Introduce students to command line working and to help develop their appreciation of its strengths/weaknesses relative to GUIs.

Aims & Objectives


Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

A1.  The role of database systems in information management.

A2.  The concept of data modelling

A3.  The relational model of data

A4.  The structure and facilities of the Unix system and its application to system tasks

Intellectual Skills

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to:

B1.  Support the design and develop software making effective use of Unix based tools and facilities

B2.  Apply entity-relationship modeling.

B3.  Normalise data.

Subject Specific Skills 

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to:

C1.  Make effective use of data manipulation tools.

C2.  Construct new tools using shell scripts, pipes and filters.

C3.  Make effective use of markup languages.

C4.  Use SQL to create, update and query a database.


  • The Unix family of operating systems (Linux, BSD, OS X)
    • The Unix philosophy and environment; files, processes, pipes, filters and basic utilities
    • Data manipulation tools; editors, grep and other utilities.
    • Scripting
    • Shells and shell programming.
    • Program development tools.
  • Structured documents and markup languages
    • LaTeX
    • XML-based languages (HTML, DocBook)
  • Database systems
    • Rationale behind Database Systems
    • Database Modelling using the Entity-Relationship Model
    • Data Models and Data Sublanguages
    • Practical SQL
  • The Relational Model
    • Relations, domains, attributes, keys, dependencies
    • Normalisation

Learning & Teaching

Learning & teaching methods



Assessment methods

Note that a University Approved Calculator may be used during the examination.

MethodHoursPercentage contribution
Database Coursework-15%
UNIX Coursework-10%
Exam2 hours75%

Referral Method: By examination

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