Durham is a very small city, and private rooms or houses in the centre are always in high demand. Central areas (up to approximately 1 - 2 miles) include Gilesgate, Nevilles Cross, Crossgate Moor, the Viaduct area and North End. You should expect to pay the highest rents if you want to live in the city centre.
Many students live in houses in surrounding areas, such as Langley Moor, Meadowfield, Bowburn, Newton Hall, Pity Me or Framwellgate Moor, which are only 2 - 4 miles away from the centre, but which have a much greater supply of housing and are much cheaper than rents in the city centre. These areas also have good public transport links.
For further information on privately rented accommodation, you can view the Accommodation Office webpages, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.