What options do Durham students have for accommodation?

Ernest place durham student accommodation

During the COVID lockdown, universities in the United Kingdom faced unprecedented times; encouraging students to move back home, lowering the number of students living in the city predominately and taking to online learning. However, as restrictions have been lowered and higher education returns to a “new normal”, the majority of new and existing students are wanting to once again live in their chosen city close to their university.

Durham University is one of the oldest universities in England and is currently ranked 92nd in the QS World University Rankings (for 2023). With over 330 courses, an estimated 4,000 undergraduates enrol every year, looking for appropriate accommodation.

Let’s look at the different types of student accommodation Durham has to offer and the factors a Durham student should consider before deciding.

What are the different accommodation types available for students in Durham?

Throughout the city, Durham offers various types of accommodation. Each type has its own benefits and even disadvantages that you should consider before putting down a deposit.

University halls of residence

The majority of universities offer halls of residence accommodation. This includes student accommodation that is owned and operated by the university, usually located on the campus. As many first-year and international students may worry about finding a place to live in the city, this method is one of the most popular amongst freshers; as they are conveniently located near the university and other local amenities.

For those who have never lived alone (or without their parent’s care), halls of residence may offer catered accommodation where meals are provided. This eliminates the chance of any kitchen disasters or accidentally setting off the fire alarm.

On the other hand, as hundreds of other students will be applying for halls of residence, there is a chance you might not get your first preferences of room (such as the view, size or choice of en-suite). They typically do not tend to offer the same amenities or facilities.

University halls of residence

Conveniently close to important locations, like libraries and lecture hallsMore expensive than other accommodation
Ideal for meeting other students (first years and international)Distractions (such as fire alarm testing)
Catered accommodation and cleanersHigh demand of certain rooms (en-suites)

Privately rented accommodation

One of the most popular types of student accommodation involves privately renting accommodation across the city. Although they lose the convenience of living at the university, students can better choose where they reside and prioritise what amenities they want to live close to, including supermarkets, nightlife and places of cultural significance.

The advantage of this is that students can choose who they live with, a luxury lost with halls of residence. This is ideal for second and third-year students who may have found people they want to live with in halls or on their course.

However, this also means that there are more costs that require extra budgeting, such as utilities and rent. In addition, various privately rented accommodation have been converted into student flats, rather than purpose built. This means that there may be some unexpected problems due to it being an older property, for example dampness, mould and leaks.

Privately Rented Accommodation

More independenceMore bills to budget
Ability to choose who you live withOlder properties may lead to problems
More freedom to decorate your roomResponsible for all cleaning and maintenance

Private sector halls of residence

Similar to the university halls of residence, this type of student accommodation often comes with various amenities, such as kitchens, living rooms and places to do laundry. However, instead of being owned and operated by the university, they are privately owned by commercial companies and are independent.

One advantage of this student accommodation is that there are various luxuries attached to the tenancy. This may include the use of gyms, cinema and entertainment rooms and social areas.

As this accommodation is not associated with the university, typically these are not located on campus and consequently, students may need to find other ways of commuting. To combat this, at Mansion Student, we offer students at Durham University a free bus pass to get to and from the university. The bus pass is available for students that secure a room for a minimum of 45 weeks. Find out more about the different promotions we offer our students here.

Private Sector Halls of Residence

Purpose built and modern aestheticFurther away from local amenities
Choose who you live withCan be more expensive
Bills included in the priceMay feel left out of student events (such as club nights)

Does Durham University have student accommodation?

At Durham University, there is a wide range of student accommodation on the campus and surrounding areas. Certain accommodation blocks have various features, including size and style of the rooms, whether they are en-suites and catered or self-catered.

Castle Walls (Durham Castle)

Durham Castle is one of the main tourist attractions and is one of the selling points of attending Durham University. Within the Castle walls, undergraduates have the opportunity of renting one of the 100 rooms, including in the Keep, the Junction and Norman Gallery.

As this accommodation is located on the campus, the university is just around the corner. This also means that other amenities are close by, including the city centre which is a five-minute walk and the train station which is a fifteen-minute walk. There is also a Sainsbury’s Local six minutes away, although the Castle Walls accommodation is catered.

Should you live in private sector halls of residence?

There are many advantages and disadvantages of renting private accommodation in Durham. It can all depend on your individual preferences and what you are wanting from your time living in Durham. For example, private accommodation may be located in areas outside of the city centre. This allows for quieter living, which might be essential for final years or even postgraduate students who will not be going out as much as freshers.

Ernest Place (Renny’s Lane)

Mansion Student provides private accommodation for students in Durham. Located on Renny’s Lane in Gilesgate, Ernest Place is located in between Durham University and New College Durham. There is a Tesco’s Extra that is an eight-minute walk away and various sports, culture and social attractions nearby, including Durham Museum and Durham City AFC. The city centre is a short bus ride away, for which Mansion Student will provide a free bus pass for tenants.

Within the private accommodation, there are various facilities included in the price that students can use. Ernest Place has a personal gym, two dinner party rooms, an on-site cinema room and a rooftop terrace. Read more information on Ernest Place here.

How Mansion Student can help

Since 2007, Mansion Student has acquired, developed and maintained modern student accommodations throughout some of the most popular student cities in the United Kingdom. We prioritise your welfare during your stay, and will help you through every stage of the booking and tenancy period. Browse through our different student accommodation locations below:

If you are interested in staying at any of our student accommodations, arrange a viewing here to ensure you are completely happy with the property before booking.

Browse through our student offers here.

Contact Mansion Student today for more information about booking accommodation, or call us at 0800 652 7844

Frequently asked questions

How much is student accommodation at Durham University?

This all depends on the type of accommodation that you choose. For example, a shared house will typically cost around £84 per week, whereas halls of residence start from £150 per week.

When should I look for student accommodation in Durham?

It is recommended to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible, once you have decided on the university. For shared housing, most students tend to start looking in October for the following academic year. Whereas first years and international students primarily start looking in January.

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