Module Details

CE205-5-AU-CO: Databases And Information Retrieval

Year: 2017/18
Department: Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Richard Sutcliffe
Teaching Staff: Dr Richard Sutcliffe
Contact details: CSEE School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The aims of this module are to extend the principles of SQL database modelling laid down in the first year, to describe the field of Information Retrieval, to introduce the concept of NoSQL databases and hence to compare the strengths and weaknesses of all three approaches to information access.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Understand SQL database modelling and normalisation;
2. Appreciate the principles of Information Retrieval;
3. Apply and evaluate IR in a practical context;
4. Discuss differences between models such as SQL, IR and NoSQL.

Outline Syllabus
SQL Database Design Principles

Entity Relationship Modelling


Modelling in a Realistic Scenario

Principles of Information Retrieval

Term Weighting Models

Word Frequency, Stemming and Stoplists

Inverted Indexing, TF*IDF and OKAPI

Implementation of Phrase and Wildcard Searches

Performance Evaluation in a Practical Task

Introduction to NoSQL Databases

Comparison of SQL, IR and NoSQL paradigms

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures, Labs and Classes


30 per cent Coursework Mark, 70 per cent Exam Mark


Assignment 1: Lab, worth 10%, submitted in week 5; Progress Test: worth 10%, held in week 8; Assignment 2: Lab, worth 10%, submitted in week 16

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information



  • Recommended Reading
  • Connolly, T., Begg, C. (2014). Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management, Addison-Wesley.
  • Hills, T. (2017). NoSQL and SQL Data Modeling: Bringing Together Data, Semantics, and Software, Technics Publications.
  • Manning, C. D., Raghavan, P. and Schütze, H. (2008). Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press.

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Dr Jeremy Gow
    Institution: Goldsmiths College
    Academic Role: Lecturer