Overview
Literature
Lectures
Lecture Links
Coursework
Forum
Examination
References
Typeset lecture notes [ACN18] (PDF), which includes exercises with model answers, supports the lectures, along with electronic lecture slides [ELS18] for some of the lectures.
Please note that you should not expect these notes to be a complete record of all that is said and discussed during the lectures. Lecture attendance is compulsory, and reading the main references strongly encouraged. That said, the typeset lecture notes are fairly comprehensive.
The book Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation, 3rd edition [HMU3] by John E. Hopcroft, Rajeev Motwani, & Jeffrey D. Ullman is the main reference for the course. Note that this book is quite different from the classic 1979 first edition (see below). Consult the book's web pages for additional supporting material, including additional exercises with automated online correction, and errata. The library has got some copies of the book. There is now also a third edition of this book. This is fine too. However, the page references below are for the second edition. The 1979 first edition of Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation [HU79] by John E. Hopcroft & Jeffrey D. Ullman is very thorough and a classic in the field. However, it is considerably harder than the second and third editions, being aimed more at PhD students or advanced undergraduates. It is now also somewhat difficult to get hold of. 

The book An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata [Lin6] by Peter Linz can be used as an alternative or complement to [HMU3]. The picture shows the sixth edition. Earlier editions should work too. In fact, as the lectures cover standard material, but without following any specific book very closely, there are a range of possible text books for the student who wish to delve deeper into the subject than what the lectures notes [ACN18] do. 
One important application area for much of the material covered in the course is compilers. If you are curious, you might want to have a look at the material for the secondyear module G53CMP Compilers, or you might want to browse through a book on the topic, such as the classic Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools [ASU86] ("The Dragon book") by Aho, Sethi, & Ullman.
Lecture#  Date  Content  Lctr  Reading 

1  30 Jan  Administrative Details and Introduction  nhn & vxc  [ELS18, Le 1; ACN18, Sec. 1–2; HMU3, Ch. 1] 
2  2 Feb  Deterministic Finite Automata (DFA)  nhn  [ACN18, Sec. 3, 3.1; HMU3, Ch. 2, 2.1–2.2] 
3  6 Feb  Nondeterministic Finite Automata (NFA)  nhn  [ELS18, Le3; ACN18, Sec. 3, 3.2–3.2.2; HMU3, 2.3–2.3.4] 
4  9 Feb  Equivalence between NFA and DFA  nhn  [ELS18, Le 4; ACN18, Sec. 3, 3.2.3; HMU3, 2.3.5–2.4] 
5  13 Feb  Regular Expressions  Paolo  [ELS18, Le 5; ACN18, Sec. 4, 4.1–4.2; HMU3, Ch.3, 3.1, 3.3] 
6  16 Feb  Equivalence between Regular Expressions and Finite Automata  Paolo  [ELS18, Le 6; ACN18, Sec. 4, 4.3–4.4; HMU3, 3.2.3] 
7  20 Feb  Proving Languages not to be Regular  vxc  [ELS18, Le 7; ACN18, Sec. 6; HMU3, Ch.4, 4.1, 4.2 (only intro)] 
8  23 Feb  Introduction to ContextFree Grammars (CFG)  nhn  [ELS18, Le 8; ACN18, Sec. 7, 7.1; HMU3, Ch.5, 5.1–5.1.4, 5.3] 
9  27 Feb  The Language of a CFG  nhn  [ELS18, Le 9; ACN18, Sec.7, 7.2–7.3; HMU3, 5.1.5–5.1.7] 
10  2 Mar  Derivation Trees and Ambiguity  nhn  [ELS18, Le 10; ACN18, Sec. 7, 7.4–7.5; HMU3, 5.2, 5.4–5.4.1, 5.1.4, 5.4.3–5.4.5] 
11  6 Mar  Disambiguating ContextFree Grammars  nhn  [ELS18, Le 11; ACN18, Sec. 7, 7.5; HMU3, 5.4.2] 
12  9 Mar  RecursiveDescent Parsing: Introduction  nhn  [ELS18, Le 12; ACN18, Sec. 10, 10.1–10.4; HMU3, 5.3.15.3.2] 
13  13 Mar  RecursiveDescent Parsing: Elimination of Left Recursion  nhn  [ELS18, Le 13; ACN18 Sec. 10.5] 
14  16 Mar  RecursiveDescent Parsing: Predictive Parsing  nhn  [ELS18, Le 14; ACN18 pp. Sec. 10.6–10.7] 
15  20 Mar  Turing Machines  vxc  [ELS18, Le 15; ACN18, Sec. 11, 11.1–11.2; HMU3, Ch.8, 8.2] 
16  23 Mar  λCalculus  nhn  [ELS18, Le 16; ACN18, Sec. 12, 12.1–12.5] 
17  24 Apr  The ChurchTuring Thesis  vxc  [ELS18, Le 17; ACN18, Sec. 12.6; HMU3, 8.2.1; Lin6, Ch.13 only intro] 
18  27 Apr  Decidability and the Halting Problem  vxc  [ELS18, Le 18; ACN18, Sec. 11.3–11.5; HMU3, Ch.9; Lin6, Ch.12] 
19  1 May  Computational Complexity  vxc  [ELS18, Le 19; ACN18, Sec.13, 13.1–13.2; HMU3, Ch.10; Lin6, Ch.13] 
20  4 May  The P vs NP Problem  vxc  [ELS18, Le 20; ACN18, Sec. 13.3; HMU3, Ch.10; Lin6, Ch.14] 
The coursework consists of four problem sets. The average of the best three counts for 25 % of the overall mark for the module. The issue and submission dates are as follows:
Problem Set#  Issue Date  Submission Date 

1 (for lect. 1–6)  14 Feb  21 Feb 
2 (for lect. 7–14)  14 Mar  22 Mar 
3 (for lect. 15–16)  21 Mar  26 Apr 
4 (for lect. 17–20)  2 May  9 May 
The deadline for submitting solutions is 3 PM on the submission date. Solutions are to be submitted to the Student Service Centre as handwritten (recommended) or typeset hard copies. The procedure for hard copy submission is explained on the Student Services' Coursework Submission page. This page also provides a link to the standard cover sheet that should be used. Model solutions will normally be released shortly after the deadline. Marks will be released through Moodle and marked solutions will be returned via the Student Service Centre.
To make quick marking and feedback possible, and as model solutions will be released shortly after the submission deadline, late submissions will not be considered. Extenuating circumstances affecting a single problem set are addressed by the rule that only the four best solutions count. In case of valid extenuating circumstances affecting two or more of the problem sets, suitable arrangements will be made.
Problem sets below. Model solutions will be added shortly after the deadlines.
A Moodle Forum for G52LAC has been set up.
The forum is intended for asking questions about and discussing aspects of G52LAC, like the coursework. It will be monitored by the G52LAC team, and we'll endeavour to answer any outstanding questions reasonably quickly. However, any one is free to contribute to the discussions and help with answering questions. Indeed, in the spirit of an online forum, you are encouraged to do so!
Of course, we do ask that you do not post the exact solutions to the coursework! The point of the coursework is that you should ultimately solve the problems yourselves so that you know what you have understood and what you need to work more on or ask about.
In the case of a resit examination:
The style of the exam will be similar to the ones given for G52MAL over the past few years, such as the ones below. However, not all questions are necessarily relevant as some topics (such as minimisation of DFAs) are not covered in G52LAC. On the other hand, there are also some new topics such as the λCalculus and computational complexity. Use the material covered in the lectures as a guide. Note that there is not going to be any choice regarding which questions to answer: all questions will be compulsory.
Model solutions for some past exams: