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Fast track SQL course (3 days)

Three days (09:30 to 16:30 UK time each day)

This course is available in the following formats (all prices exclude VAT):

Classroom (London)
Classroom (Manchester)
Onsite (your office)
Please ask
Online (your home)
You can book a place on this course either online through this website, by phone, by email or by filling in our enquiry form.

There are no special pre-requisites for you to satisfy to attend this course, other than to have a good level of IT literacy.  If you don't find it easy to create Excel formulae you should avoid this course!

Course schedule

Here are our next few Fast track SQL course dates:

Dates Times Venue Price (excl. VAT)
31 Jan-02 Feb 09:30-16:30 Online £1,150 Book
20-22 Mar 09:30-16:30 Online £1,150 Book
13-15 May 09:30-16:30 Online £1,150 Book
02-04 Jul 09:30-16:30 Online £1,150 Book
20-22 Aug 09:30-16:30 Online £1,150 Book
Show full list of dates

Got a handful of like-minded people in your organisation? You could consider booking your own customised onsite course, whereby you get to pick the dates and venue!

Course Contents - PDF

Fast track SQL - Course Contents

Out of all of our three-day fast-track courses, this is probably the one which offers the best alternative to the relevant two-day introduction and two-day advanced courses.  This is for two reasons:

  • The progression from selecting data in SQL through to advanced topics like creating stored procedures is natural and fairly straightforward.

  • The fast-track course misses out some topics which are of less use than others (table-valued functions spring to mind).

However, for many people three days of training can be a day too much, so please do bear this in mind when considering booking onto this course (if you find learning software difficult, this also isn't the course for you).

This fast-track course combines topics from the following other Wise Owl courses:


Using SQL Server

  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • Controlling windows
  • Using Object Explorer

Creating databases - overview

  • Designing databases
  • Primary keys

Working with tables

  • Creating tables
  • Allowing nulls or not
  • Identity fields
  • Creating relationships

Simple Queries

  • Creating queries
  • Comments
  • Indentation and case

Setting criteria using WHERE

  • Wildcards (% and _)
  • Setting criteria for dates
  • Coping with nulls


  • Calculated columns
  • Using aliases
  • String functions and concatenation

Calculations using dates

  • GetDate
  • Converting dates
  • Useful date functions

Basic joins

  • Inner joins
  • Table aliases
  • Left and right outer joins

Aggregation and grouping

  • Various ways to count
  • Grouping by fields
  • Using HAVING to filter results


  • The view designer
  • Limitations of the designer
  • Scripting views


  • The concept of a subquery
  • Syntax of subqueries
  • Using subqueries in a query

Derived tables and CTEs

  • Using derived tables
  • Common Table Expressions (CTEs)
  • Multiple CTEs in a single query

From our ADVANCED SQL course

Stored procedures

  • Creating stored procedures
  • Executing stored procedures
  • System stored procedures


  • Declaring variables
  • SET versus SELECT
  • Tricks with variables
  • So-called global variables

Parameters and return values

  • Passing parameters
  • Default values / WHERE clauses
  • Output parameters
  • Using RETURN

Scalar functions   if time

  • What they are
  • Writing user-defined functions
  • Worked examples
  • Pros and cons of scalar functions

Testing conditions

  • IF / ELSE statement
  • Using CASE where possible


  • Syntax of WHILE
  • Breaking out of a loop

Error-handling   if time

  • Using TRY / CATCH
  • System error functions
  • Custom error messages

Deleting using SQL

  • Ways to drop tables

Updating data in SQL

  • The UPDATE statement
  • Updating using joins

Inserting data

  • Making tables (SELECT INTO)
  • Appending data (INSERT INTO)
  • Inserting individual rows

Creating tables

  • Creating tables in SQL
  • Primary keys and indexes
  • Adding relationships

Transactions   if time

  • Beginning a transaction
  • Committing / rolling back

Temporary tables and table variables

  • Scope (local versus global)
  • Using temporary tables
  • Creating table variables
  • Pros and cons of each approach

Table-valued functions   if time

  • In-line table-valued functions
  • Mult-statement table-valued functions

Dynamic SQL   if time

  • Building up dynamic SQL
  • Executing dynamic SQL
  • Disadvantages of dynamic SQL

Pivots   if time

  • Assembling data for pivoting
  • Using PIVOT
  • Dynamic column headers

Triggers   if time

  • Insert, update and delete triggers
  • Using generated tables (eg INSERTED)
  • Using INSTEAD OF

Why Choose Us?

Here are some reasons to choose Wise Owl courses:

In addition, here are some benefits unique to classroom training:

And some benefits specific to online training:

  • Courseware manual posted to you in advance
  • Free half-hour pre-course check-up included
  • Our clever system means you can use our laptops (and we can see them)

What other people have said

Our thanks to everyone who agreed to share their thoughts. All of the following reviews are from the last 3 calendar years:

"I absolutely loved the course and attending it has given me a lot of food for thought in how I can implement the use within my team. The trainer was superb and communicated clearly the 'how' and 'why' you'd do things in a certain way, looking out for common errors along the way. I needed to know about how to import data into SQL, which wasn't part of the course content, but the trainer was very accommodating by staying behind with me for 10 minutes to show me how I'd do this, which was very much appreciated. I am inexperienced when it comes to using databases and writing script/code, however I had heard about the benefits of using SQL as a tool and wanted to upskill. Thank you for the course - I hope to come on another sometime soon!"

Katherine Wellock (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC))

"The tutor was really good at making sure the people with more experience didn't get bored whilst going at a pace slow enough for the beginners. The course material is clear and structured."

Sam Wareham (Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS FT)

"Our trainer kept checking in on everyone at breaks and beginnings to make sure no one had gotten lost along the way. He was very open to questions and answered them clearly. It was good to get us thinking when asking us what we thought might happen if he ran a code, and then teaching us that a statement only affects the next statement. Colleagues recommended the training to me as they found it a very thorough exploration of SQL."

Simon Wickham (Advancing Quality Alliance AQuA)

"A great trainer and it didn't feel like he was just reading from a script. He explained each step and showed us multiple ways to achieve the desired outcome and which methods should be used in a particular situation. He also pointed out any common problems or things we should look out for that he has experienced in his career. Other staff have already taken the course and have had positive things to say about it."

Ben Ryland (Macquarie Energy Leasing)

"The 3-day Fast-track SQL course was my second course with Wise Owl and I really enjoyed the course as well as the teaching style. The content and pace was good and our trainer answered all questions asked in detail, showing his knowledge and expertise in the subject. Would recommend this course to anyone."

Shaila Hunt (BUPA)

There are lots more where these came from (or just refresh this page to change the quotes shown).

How our training courses work

Below are some notes on how Wise Owl courses work, to help you decide whether they're for you or not.

What you'll need

If you book on a classroom course, the only thing you need to bring to the course is ... yourself! We even provide a notepad and a suprisingly nice pen for you to take notes with.

For online training you'll need two things:

  1. A good internet connection (otherwise you'll have a frustrating time); and
  2. A second screen (a requirement, not a nice-to-have!)

You can see full details of our online course requirements here.

When you book a place

If you book a place on one of our courses:

  • For classroom courses we will send out a joining email. That's it!
  • For online courses we will get in touch to organise a half-hour pre-course check to iron out any connection problems before the course (rather than during it).

Whatever type of course you book, we will also send you out a reminder a few days before the course is due to take place - not that (we hope) you'll have forgotten!

What you won't need

For classroom training, you won't need a computer - we (obviously) will provide that. However, you're welcome to use your own laptop if you prefer, providing that you have the correct software installed.

For online training you will need a computer, but you won't need to have any software installed.  This is because you'll use Windows Remote Desktop to connect to our computers, and these will have all of the necessary files and software installed.

The start of the course

For online courses you will be able to join up to half an hour before the course begins. This will give you time to:

  • familiarise yourself with the set-up;
  • meet your trainer; and
  • get to know the other delegates!

For classroom training it's always nice if people arrive a bit early too, to give people time to meet each other (and drink coffee).

You'll be given a full colour courseware manual, an exercise booklet to go with the course and a USB stick for taking course files away (we'll post all this to you for online courses).

After the course

After the course finishes you'll receive a digital certificate proving your attendance (we will gladly send a paper copy on request also).

We don't have any formal arrangement for answering questions after the course, but if you get stuck on something and email your trainer they should (and nearly always do!) respond as quickly as their training schedule allows.

Related Courses

You might like to consider these related courses:

Introduction to SQL


2 day course

Advanced SQL


2 day course

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