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Advances in Data Management

Short name: ADM
SITS code: COIY025H7
Credits: 15
Level: 7
Module leader: Richard Brownlow
Lecturer(s): Richard Brownlow

Module outline

This module examines the technologies underlying modern data management systems. It studies advanced aspects of query processing, transaction management, distributed data management, and recent developments in web data, big data and alternative database architectures.


To study advanced aspects of databases and recent advances in data management technologies in three major directions: performance, distribution of data, and heterogeneity of data.


  • Review of the fundamental principles of database management systems, relational databases and SQL.
  • Query processing and query optimisation.
  • Transaction management: ACID properties, concurrency control, recovery.
  • Beyond records and objects: stored procedures and functions, triggers, semantic technologies.
  • Distributed databases: data fragmentation and replication, distributed query processing, distributed transaction management.
  • Heterogeneous data integration.
  • XML data management.
  • Linked Data.
  • Parallel databases.
  • NoSQL/NewSQL stores.
  • Graph databases.
  • Data Warehouse architecture trends.

  • Data Lakes.


A first module in Database Systems (e.g. Data and Knowledge Management, Programming with Data or a similar module as taught in a typical U.K. undergraduate degree in computer science).

Knowledge of computer programming.


Indicative timetables can be found in the handbooks available on programme pages. Personalised teaching timetables for students are available via My Birkbeck.


Several pieces of coursework will be set during the module.


By 2-hour written examination and coursework, weighted at 90% and 10% respectively.

Recommended reading

  • R.Ramakrishnan and J.Gehrke, Database Management Systems, McGraw-Hill 2003 (3rd Edition)
  • A.Silberschatz, H.F.Korth and S.Sudarshan, Database System Concepts, McGraw-Hill 2011 (6th Edition)
  • M.T.Oszu and P.Valduriez, Principles of Distributed Database Systems, Springer, 2011 (3rd Edition)
  • W.Lemahieu, S. Vanden Broucke, B. Baesens, Principles of Database Management - The Practical Guide to Storing, Managing and Analyzing Big and Small Data, Cambridge University Press, 2018
  • Research papers will be distributed to students; students will also be directed to Web resources on the subject.