I’m Madeline Paterson, an online educator since 1983 and a qualified career coach since 2006.

I’ve been employed by many universities, including the Open University, for my online course design expertise. The key to a good online course is designing engaging learning activities and progression towards the results you are looking for. I design enjoyable online learning that gets results.

In my online career change course, I blend online learning activities with personalised one-to-one career coaching so that you benefit from both methods. I facilitate peer learning on the course too, so that you learn from people facing similar challenges.

You follow a pathway to career change, participate in a vibrant support community, get a dedicated coach who will support you and ensure that you progress. You get regular confidential one-to-one calls with me and unlimited email support too.

We can all achieve more than we think we can, yet often we don’t invest sufficiently in the things that really matter for our future. I know from experience that people can change career at any age and I am committed to helping experienced professional people, like you, to achieve transformational change..

I invite you to participate in my career change course. You can choose how much personalised one-to-one support to include.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!

My experience in designing online learning courses

I’ve helped many thousands of people to learn effectively online with carefully designed resources and activities – from short focused courses (like my own career change course) to a massive open online university course that attracted over 17,000 users from across the world.

In-between, I’ve designed apprenticeship, undergraduate and postgraduate courses for university and business school students. My clients and employers have included the Open University (OU), University College London (UCL), University of Southampton, University College of Estate Management (UCEM), Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Royal Agricultural University (RAU), Oxford Brookes University and Birkbeck College London.

The courses I’ve designed have been on all manner of topics, from computing technologies, property law and climate change to business ethics, digital marketing and leadership development. A learning designer’s job is fascinating. My expertise in this sphere is in listening carefully, collaborating with specialists, simplifying complexity and designing engaging experiences for learners to help them learn fast and effectively.

At the Open University, I led a faculty Learning Design team that produced and updated scores of courses each year. It was while I was at the OU, in my 40s, that I decided to train as a coach. A major reorganisation gave me the opportunity to run assessment centres and I had really enjoyed the opportunity to work with staff one-to-one, helping them to move forward in their career.

My decision to ‘add’ a new career gave me the flexibility to move to the Isle of Wight in 2007 and I have worked from home since then. I coach clients remotely and continue to write online learning – while enjoying a rural coastal life and a shorter working day. The career move that I made in my late 40s opened up so many lifestyle possibilities.

Everyone’s interest in online learning has certainly increased because it gives you the flexibility to learn in your own time. I know how to design, write and produce online learning and to bring people together with a good mix of private personalised coaching (that always remains confidential) and group discussions when we discuss new interesting strategies and tactics.

My pilot courses help me to test out the latest ideas. This agile approach means that you get a more powerful, transformational and enjoyable learning experience. How? We learn from each other and I ensure that all the learning activities I include are based around real world challenges and your personal situation. The work that you do on the course is real and engaging.

I don’t teach stuff that you can just google or find on LinkedIn !

Right now, I’m piloting a new career change course for experienced professionals who want more from their work and life.  to If you’d like to be part of that pilot course and get a 50% discount, get in touch so I can tell you more about it.

Numbers will be limited so that I can provide the level of personalised one-to-one support that I promise.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!

My career change coaching experience

I’ve helped hundreds of people to change carer direction and transform their lives.

Many people don’t know how to make a career change, but I provide a carefully structured pathway with proven learning activities for you to undertake. These activities take you along the pathway to career change. Each activity is designed to help you tackle your individual situation, examine your assumptions and you learn to speak about your career aspirations in a powerful way that others can’t ignore.

It’s particularly important not to sleepwalk into a new job just like the one you have had most recently. Your mindset and aspirations deserve to be nourished. My career change course will help you to properly assess your strengths, re-evaluate your goals – and examine new possibilities.

My activity-based approach means that you reflect on your work experiences, get more clarity and learn how to better articulate your experience and strengths in an accessible way. My career change pathway helps you to transform your work and your life.

For my part, my most significant career transformation started in my 40s. I don’t think it’s really stopped!

I started my company in 2004 and studied for new qualifications in Coaching and Development (2005), Coaching Psychology (2006), Redundancy Coaching (2010) and Career Change Coaching (2011) while I was working full time. For me, studying mid-life was transformational. I found a new tribe and moved to live by the sea for a more active lifestyle. I learned that I could be more authentic in my work and that I could help others do the same.

The word symmetry is all about balance, proportionality and things feeling ‘just right’. That precisely describes my intention when I work with you. I am committed to helping you find a work-life that fits with the rest of your life, one that has things in the right proportion (for you) and that feels ‘just right’.

For my own part, changing career has enable me to help hundreds of professional experienced people find a work-life that matches their aspirations. I feel that I make a positive difference. My new career improved my own life enormously – and you will find a way to improve yours.

Much has changed for us all in this last year. It really is an ideal time to examine what you want from your work-life and find a career to fit.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!

Teaching students 

As well as coaching and supporting career changers, I continue to help universities teach their own students online.

I have extensive experience in online education strategy and practical business experience in process, project and change management. I help experts and specialists to use their knowledge, experience and teaching skills and to get comfortable with new teaching methods and technologies.

I have worked with three universities on teaching improvement projects in the last 12 months…

  • I led a change project for a vocational university to introduce systematic online learning methods. My team implemented a new teaching and learning strategy, developed academic staff and we launched four completely new teaching programmes just as the pandemic started. Our work enabled the university to roll out this methodology across the whole institution.
  • I operationalised new pedagogic online learning processes across a Russell Group university Business School. I designed the strategy and we rolled it out to more than 130 academic staff , enabling them to teach online.
  • I have also worked hands-on this year  to design and write online learning courses for a university transforming its teaching to focus more strategically on learner experiences.

Staying involved with universities means that I stay involved with the latest online learning techniques. This helps me to improve my own online course as I encounter new technologies and discuss innovative ideas.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!


Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology (Leeds Business School)

Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching and Development (Portsmouth Business School)

Primary Certificate in Redundancy Coaching (London Centre For Coaching)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Manchester University)

Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching English Overseas (Manchester University)

First degree in Communications (Hons 2.1, Sheffield Hallam University)

International Coach Federation logo

International Coach Federation

Association For Learning Technology logo

Association for Learning Technology

European Mentoring & Coaching Coucil, Advanced Practitioner

European Mentoring & Coaching Council Advanced Practicioner

My style

If I were a book, I’d be very readable. My style is relaxed, friendly and professional.

You will find me easy to talk to and positive to work with. My coaching tutor wrote that I have ‘a light touch and serious intent’. Try not to underestimate the power of authenticity, of my just ‘being a person’, when we work together.

I will ask questions to understand your situation right now. I will help you to examine and clarify your goals and you will prioritise the various possibilities that emerge as you work through the various online activities and as we discuss your unique situation in our one-to-one coaching conversations.

You can expect me to challenge a few assumptions too – to help you to see more options and aim for what you really want.

I won’t judge you or your organisation.

My job is to help you achieve your goals.

My reward is your success.

I’m 100% on your team.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!


I first started teaching in Italy and then joined an online learning business where I wrote computer based learning for IBM and BT. Working across technologies, media production and training, I progressed from project manager and principal consultant to a corporate communications manager role for a FTSE-100 IT business reporting to the CEO.

After a company acquisition, I joined the leadership team of an internet startup before shifting into higher education in 2002.

After working for University College London (UCL), I joined the Open University to lead a large team of project managers and media specialists. During my seven years there, my team produced thousands of learning resources (textbooks, software, video and interactive learning activities) for the Social Sciences Faculty.

Since then, I’ve worked with many universities helping them to introduce and improve their online teaching, with a particular focus on increasing engagement, i.e. making study more interesting!

Most recently I’ve worked with the University College of Estate Management, the Royal Agricultural University, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of East London and the University of Southampton. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought its own challenges for many institutions and they’ve been working hard to get an effective, achievable and systematic approach in place for 2020 and beyond.

My coaching work has transformed this last year. More people are looking for a satisfying purposeful career that brings them fulfilment and fits with their family life. This has been my goal too in recent years and I have not looked back. If you want to get some clarity about how to go about making a similar change, please get in touch.

Oh, and I don’t do stuff that you can just google. My coaching is about transformation, not information.

          That’s me. Tell me about you!

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Shape your career with design, with purpose and with new opportunities in mind.

~ Madeline Paterson

I have realised that It’s okay to share my qualities and strengths with co-workers. There is no point in waiting for them to find my hidden talents!

~ Gabriella


Association of Business Psychologists logo

Madeline Paterson speaks at the ABP Annual Conference

The Association of Business Psychologists annual conference is the key annual event for business psychologists and I was delighted to have been asked to present. I joined other speakers from…Continue reading
University of Southampton

Coaching, teaching and employability projects to develop academic staff, students and researchers. I career coached MBA students each year and project managed the design of a massive open online course (MOOC) on Digital Marketing, attracting 17,000 learners


Writing national guidelines to help staff manage internships and placements

St. George’s Hospital

I helped researchers formulate their personal career development strategies

National Oceanography Centre

I provided one-to-one career coaching to develop awareness of careers outside academia

Elsevier Publishing

I worked on a ‘future of publishing’ programme with Elsevier’s European Marketing Directors


I designed and produced online video learning for IBM (UK) Sales

Oxford Brookes University

I provided team coaching and one-to-one coaching for education professionals

Open University

I led teams of online learning writers and media producers to design and deliver supported online learning

CGI | Admiral plc | Logica plc

I consulted with corporate clients to produce online staff training and then worked as Admiral’s Corporate Marketing Manager

Isle of Wight Council

I supported council staff affected by a redundancy programme

University College London

I designed online learning for university professionals

Land Registry

I wrote online versions of the Land Registry Annual Report each year for five years

University College of Estate Management

I worked as digital project manager to introduce online learning to other universities and supported the Careers service

Royal Agricultural University

I introduced a new method for designing online learning modules, enabling RAU to teach online during the pandemic

Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities

I project managed an online course to empower patients with long term health conditions

Education consulting

I sometimes work as a consultant. “Madeline is always spot on, always reliable, great to work with” (partner in a university online learning project).