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Note: This page dates from 2005, and is kept for historical purposes.

The University of Queensland
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Semester 2, 2003

INFS1200- Introduction to Information Systems
INFS7900 - Equivalent Course(s)

Course Profile


This is version 1.1 of the INFS1200course profile, dated 21 July 2003.

Changes since the last version

Not applicable.

Course Summary

Course Code(s): INFS1200 / INFS7900
Unit Value: #2
Contact Hours: 6 hours per week (3L1T2P) 
Purpose: This course introduces the student to the area of computer-based information systems. It includes basic concepts necessary to correctly design, and implement, a small information system.  The course will prepare students to deploy small information systems in industry and will also prepare them for further study of advanced information system concepts taught later in the program.

Teaching Staff

Dr Shazia Sadiq (Course Coordinator)
Office: 78-652
Phone: 53481
Fax: (07) 3365-4999
Email: shazia[at]itee.uq.edu.au
Consultation Time:

Dr. Xue Li  (Ipswich)
St Lucia Office: 78-650, Tel:  33652379;
Ipswich Room: TBA, Tel: TBA  
Email: xueli[at]itee.uq.edu.au



Course Goals

On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  1.             Extract (simplified) specifications to create basic conceptual data models
  2.             Map basic conceptual data models to relational database schema
  3.             Reason with the logical foundation of the relational data model
  4.             Understand the fundamental principles of correct relational database design
  5.             Express natural language queries using relational algebra and the SQL language
  6.             Construct simple computer-based information systems given a complete specification

Graduate Attributes Developed

The University of Queensland has defined a set of graduate attributes to specify broad core knowledge and skills associated with all undergraduate programs (http://www.uq.edu.au/hupp/contents/view.asp?s1=3&s2=20&s3=5). This course addresses these attributes as follows:

Attribute Contributions from this Course
In-depth knowledge of the field of study This course will provide foundation knowledge of information system design and development, specifically on data modelling, relational databases, SQL and a high level understanding of database management systems. This knowledge is intended to lay the foundation for further advanced study in databases. However, the course is structured in such a way that students taking only this course in databases will gain sufficient knowledge to undertake the design and development of a small scale database application
Effective Communication The importance for effective communication is emphasised since design diagrams are demonstrably used as instruments of communication
Independence and Creativity The course includes assignment work which requires students to independently build data models and make design decisions. This work is part of a small information systems development project in which students implement a real life database application, which promotes creativity
Critical Judgement Design decisions will be required in assignments as well as exam questions. This will require the use judgement based on techniques and methods studied and the ability to justify design approach
Ethical and Social Understanding The phases of database design, from receiving user specifications to implementing the application, demonstrate the need for team work between domain experts/users, database designers, database administrators, application developers and programmers. Students are expected to recognize that the success of an information system depends not only on technical skills, but also on the ability to effectively interact with multiple parties and work towards a common goal

Assumed Background

Senior Math B or MT 140.  Basic set theory is useful.  No computer programming experience is assumed.


Course Profile Copy

In the first lecture (or class meeting) students will be directed to the web address at which this course profile can be read.  Students enrolled at St Lucia who wish to retain a hard copy of the profile can use the free print quota provided each semester to students enrolled in courses in the School of Information Technology & Electrical Engineering.  For information on how to use this print quota, see the School Policy on Student Photocopying and Printing (St Lucia). Students enrolled at the Ipswich campus will either be provided with a hard copy or given directions in class on how to obtain a free copy.


The required/recommended/suggested text is

Elmasri & Navathe (2000) Fundamentals of Database Systems, 3rd edn, Addison Wesley
Grauer R.T. & Barber M. (2002) Exploring Microsoft Access 2002, Prentice Hall.


Lecture notes will be available from the following:


The subject requires the use of personal computers that support Microsoft Access database software. These computers will be made available to all INFS1200 students  who will have access to ITEE labs at scheduled times. Should students wish to do so, they may use their own computer resources for the subject. However, students must understand that they do so at their own risk. The University is not responsible for any hardware or software problems that arise as a result. ITEE staff will not provide help or advice regarding their personal hardware/software configuration. Furthermore, students must verify that all computer-based assignments that they plan to submit will execute correctly in the ITEE laboratories. Computer-based assignments that do not execute correctly in the ITEE labs will not be accepted.


Students having problems with lab computer equipment, or their programming assignment, should see a lab tutor at any of the practical session times.

Problems to do with understanding lectures, doing tutorial exercises, doing assignments should be taken to the next tutorial session for the relevant stream. If the problem is urgent, take it to the next tutorial on the timetable - even if it's not the one you usually attend. If you are still having difficulty, see a subject consultant during an arranged consultation time. The times and locations will be announced on the web site. With the exception of special appointments, no consultation will occur outside of these times.

If the above is insufficient to answer your question or resolve your problem, you can then contact course coordinator to arrange for an appointment.

Distribution of Notices

All announcements for the subject will be put on the course web site. Separate notices will be kept for St Lucia and Ipswich students. Students must check the course web site no less than once a week.


The subject website can be found at http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~infs1200. It contains the subject profile and current subject notices as well as the subject resources, including lecture notes, tutorials, assignments, and solutions. Students must check this site no less than once a week.


The course newsgroup is uq.itee.infs1200. This group is available on both the University and School news servers (news.uq.edu.au and news.itee.uq.edu.au). Students are free to post questions (and answers!) to the newsgroup. Students are reminded that the newsgroup is to be used only for academic purposes. The teaching staff will monitor the newsgroup.

Teaching Activities


This subject will have 3 hours of lectures every week. Lectures will be held in at St Lucia and Ipswich campus. Please refer to SINet Timetable for details.  Lecture notes will be available for the following:

Please see the Lectures page on the course web site to view/download lectures and/or find out about required readings for each lecture.


This subject will have 1 hour of tutorial every week. Please refer to SINet Timetable for details. Tutorials consist of exercises from the text book (Elmasri & Navathe 3rd Edition). Tutorials are scheduled to meet 2 basic objectives: 

The solutions to each week's  tutorial exercises will be made available online on Friday afternoon of the same week. There will be 10 tutorials in all, with the first one starting in week 3. Please see the Tutorials page on the course web site to find out more about the tutorial questions and solutions.


This subject will have scheduled hours of supervised lab every week. Please refer to SINet Timetable for details. The semester will be divided into 2 Lab periods: 

Please see the Practical page on the course web site for guidelines on managing the exercises. This page also contains the practice database and web links to additional exercises. 


You are not required to attend any of the teaching sessions (except those in which an assessment activity is taking place), however, you are strongly encouraged to do so. The lectures, tutorials and pracs have been specifically designed to aid your learning of the course material. Failure to attend a session may result in you being disadvantaged. It is up to you to find out what happened at any class session that you miss.

Teaching Plan

This course is divided into 8 modules, which will cover the following topics:

The above outline is intended to give a tentative plan for the subject. The topic list may be altered or rearranged as the course progresses to better achieve academic objectives

The course modules will be scheduled as follows in the teaching calendar: 





28/7 – 1/8


Database Systems


4/8 - 8/8

Relational Model


11/8 - 15/8

Entity-relationship Model

Relational Model

1. MS Access

18/8 -22/8

ER to Relational Mapping


2. MS Access

25/8 - 29/8

FDs and Normalization

ER-Relational Mapping

3. MS Access

1/9 - 5/9

(cont) Normalization Relational Algebra


4. MS Access

8/9 - 12/9

(cont) Relational Algebra

Relational Algebra  

Work on Assignments

15/9 - 19/9

Basic SQL

Relational Algebra

Work on Assignments

22/9 - 26/9

Mid Semester Exam

Basic SQL

Introduction to SQLator

29/10 - 3/10


6/10 - 10/10

Advanced SQL

Mid Semester Feedback

Work on Assignments

13/10 - 17/10

(cont) Advanced SQL

Advanced SQL

Work on Assignments

20/10 - 24/10

Database System Architecture


Work on Assignments

27/10 - 31/10

(cont) Database System Architecture
Hints on Final Exam

Consultation Tutorials 


Note: The week by week timetable may be changed in accordance with any changes made to the course topics.


INFS1200will be assessed by several methods as outlined below. Your final grade (on a 1 to 7 scale) will be determined by combining the marks from the various assessment components as described below. For each assessment item, reference is made to the specific learning objectives (from the list above) which the assessment item will address.


This course will have two practical assignments. Practical assignments are designed to test data analysis and design techniques as well as information system development skills acquired in practical sessions. Assignments will be announced and placed on the Assignment page on the course web site at the required time.

Please ensure that you download/print your copy as soon as possible on or after the date of issue. 

Procedure for submission of assignments will be announced on the course web site. Late submission of assessable material will incur a penalty of 20% reduction each date late. Students who believe they have sound reasons of late submission should see the course coordinator as soon as possible.

Students are advised to create back-up copies of their assignments. Software can fail (or be lost) for many reasons and it happens quite frequently. Students should also retain paper-based assignments in the event that the original paper version is lost or damaged.


This course will have two exams: Mid Semester and Final. Exams are designed to test theoretical concepts and modeling techniques introduced in lectures and tutorials. Exams will address all material from lectures and tutorials that occurred prior to the exam date. All exams will be closed book. You will be required to answer all questions and write in the space provided on the exam paper. Programmable calculators and other computing or communication devices are NOT permitted. Students may request the use of dictionaries, including bilingual dictionaries, supplied by Examinations Section. You will require a HB or 2B pencil and an eraser to complete the exam.More information on exams will be provided on the exam page on the course web site at the appropriate time.

Determination of Final Grade



Due date (Semester 2)

Assignment 1 (2 Parts)

10 %

Week 6 (Part 1)



Week 8 (Part 2)

Mid Semester Exam

30 %

Week 9 (in lecture)

Assignment 2

10 %

Week 12

Final Exam

40 %

Examination period

Students are required to pass the final exam (i.e. to obtain at least 20 out of 40) to pass the course.

Assessment Policies

Return of Assignments

Upon completion of marking, an announcement will be made on the web site, as to when the marked material will be returned. Assignments and exams will be returned in the practical/tutorial session that you indicate on the cover page of the assignment or exam.  Please indicate, as far as possible the same session as the one you signed up for. 

Uncollected assignments and exams will then be made available for collection/viewing from an announced place

Academic Merit, Plagiarism, Collusion and Other Misconduct

The School and the wider academic community in general takes academic integrity and respect for other persons and property very seriously. In particular, the following behaviour is unacceptable:

Penalties for engaging in unacceptable behaviour can range from cash fines or loss of grades in a subject, through to expulsion from the University.

You are required to read and understand the School Statement on Misconduct, available on the ITEE website at: http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/about/student-misconduct.jsp.  This Statement includes advice on how to properly cite references and other sources in your submissions and on acceptable levels of collaboration.

If you have any questions concerning this statement, please contact your lecturer in the first instance.

Assessment Feedback

Timely feedback on all progressive assessment in this course will be available in accordance with University policy (HUPP 3.30.6 Student Access to Feedback on Assessment).  Feedback will be provided in the following forms:

Students wishing to view examination answer scripts and/or question papers should consult with the School office (Room 217, General Purpose South Building [78], St Lucia;  Room 218, Building 1, Ipswich) regarding arrangements.

It is a student’s responsibility to incorporate feedback into their learning; making use of the assessment criteria that they are given; being aware of the rules, policies and other documents related to assessment; and providing teachers with feedback on their assessment practices.

Support for Students with a Disability

Any student with a disability who may require alternative academic arrangements in the course is encouraged to seek advice at the commencement of the semester from a Disability Adviser at Student Support Services.

Sourced From http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/undergraduate/_profile_view.php?print=1&file=2003_2_INFS1200_StLucia