I really want to do an Access to Social Science and Humanities course followed by course
Trouble is the access course is fulltime only and they can get me on it, but it would mean coming of JSA as obviously i'd not be looking for work. That would mean i'd only have £148 a week for me and 3 dc.
It all depends. Would you still be entitled to council tax and rent relief? If so then I think, as long as you don't have loads of credit cards and loans to pay out on, it is feasible. You'd have to be very frugal but I think it is possible
Does anywhere do it part time. Not necessarily at college. Where I am the council are advertising access to HE courses run at adult education centres. Very flexible. You can do 2 mornings (9.30-12.30), 2 Eves (6.30-9-30) or a morning and evening per week. This is what I'm doing as it's easier to fit in with work and children.
If you are doing it full time, you can apply for a student loan - it doesn't matter how old you are. This would include a maintenence loan. After that, I'm not sure whether it affects other benefits, housing benefit and so on, but I have a feeling HB would be unaffected if you are a lone parent. Tax credits are affected by a maintenence loan, but would depend on how much you get I think.
It's a massive minefield and when I applied I came up against so many blocks, but it was really worth it. Try not to get stressed, peruse direct.gov until you know it off by heart, and don't be put off that every time you deal with a benefits official they will panic and say you might not be entitled to XYZ - just look up what you are entitled to and get them to look it up, rather than assuming.
What would the £148 cover? Do your bills at the moment come to more than that? Remember to factor in hidden costs of uni stuff, like transport. Books you can generally get away with reading library copies, especially if you get there in advance (you normally get the reading list for the year at the start of term anyway) or your university or college has electronic copies, but you might have to buy a few.