There was nothing between the teams during a tight-fought first period that saw both defences stand up well to some patient attacking play, with neither side able to force a breakthrough.
However, Durham finally broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half and added two further converted tries either side of a penalty to race into a 24-0 lead by the hour mark.
Bath, sponsored by IKON Construction, looked to respond but were let down by handling errors at key moments and conceded another converted try as they chased the game to give the hosts a 31-0 victory.
Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “We were right in the game at half-time and could take some confidence from the way we were playing. However, a number of defensive and handling errors cost us in the second half.
“We did not retain possession long enough to capitalise on any attacking pressure we had. There were handling errors at crucial times and we are disappointed that we threw some opportunities away.
“Credit to Durham, they kept the ball for long periods of time. We defended well for most of it but a couple of errors left us chasing the game and Durham were able to take advantage.
“There are areas which are costing us points at either end of the pitch and we need to work hard on them.”
Next up for Bath is a shorter trip to Cardiff Metropolitan University next Wednesday (October 11).
That is followed on Wednesday, October 18 by the big Anniversary Game, sponsored by Iesis Group, against Loughborough University at The Rec, Bath Rugby’s iconic city-centre ground. Kick-off is 6.30pm and entry is free – click here for more information.