I loaded SpatiaLite via the repositories. There is also a third party plugin for QGIS that I was trying to link to the database. This was unsuccessful, mainly it seems due to the version of SpatiaLite.
Next i tried to do the same but with PostGIS. This required PostGreSQL and the python wrapper – psycogp2. I couldn’t get this working either until I came across a bundle from Enterprise DB (http://www.enterprisedb.com/). They have a PostGreS Plus package that sets up the PostGreSQL server and administrates it through pgAdmin (http://www.pgadmin.org/). I now have a database up and running but have no tables in it and am having issues connecting to QGIS due to username differences. A job for tmorrow.