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10th Jul 2020

Rise in CAO applicants to Trinity College following Normal People success

Sarah Finnan

Trinity College

Featured regularly throughout the series, both Connell and Marianne attended Trinity College Dublin – which staff believe could have swayed prospective students when choosing where to study.

Trinity College Dublin has recorded its highest number of CAO applicants this year, with many attributing the rise in figures to the popularity of the TV series Normal People. Not much of a surprise, given the fact that Paul Mescal is responsible for making GAA shorts and neck chains fashionable. The show’s influence is all-encompassing.

A spokesperson for the college said that prospective students have shown a very positive interest in the college this year with the Irish Times reporting that figures are up 11 per cent on last year –  students have made over 40,000 applications to study courses at TCD through the CAO system this year.

While officials are unable to give a definitive reason for the sudden surge in popularity, it’s believed that the college’s coverage in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People certainly helped matters some. Coinciding with the so-called “change of mind window”, the show was perfectly timed, airing right when many students would have been making amendments to their CAO choices.

Commenting on the news, the spokesperson said:

“We had expected interest in Trinity programmes to be high – as it always is – and are greatly looking forward to welcoming a new cohort of undergraduates in September.

“It’s hard to quantify what exactly influenced students’ decisions, but it seems likely that all the exposure may well have played a role.”

Such is the power of Normal People.

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