You cannot use an F-1 visa unless you can demonstrate you no longer have a plan to live permanently in the USA. By your own statement:
and got married there to a US citizen. Then I returned to the UK to
sort out finances while awaiting a spousal visa.
you have demonstrated immigration intent and hence are no longer qualified for an F-1 which is a visa type that requires you do not have immigration intent. It is not a dual intent visa, unlike the H-1 and L visas.
You will have to wait until your spousal visa comes through. If you choose to go for the F-1 visa and tell untruths to the consular in order to get it, at any point in the future your permanent residency or even citizenship can be revoked for fraud/misrepresentation to an immigration officer which can lead to removal and most times a permanent bar from coming to the USA. You don't want to go down that route.