Students were charged a separate fee for each course they attended. On payment they were issued with a small cardboard card, signed by the professor, which gave them admittance to his lectures. The cards were usually stamped or engraved, often with an image of the University.
Darwin spent two years here as a medical student in Edinburgh and was directed towards natural history and comparative anatomy by Dr Robert Grant, afterwards Professor at London University. He also took the opportunity to study the natural history collections in the University Museum. However, he found the lectures dull and fled from the horrors of the operating theatre. Instead he went on field trips with Grant and other friends, mostly marine zoologists who held heretical views about the Creation.