The 22-year-old singer-songwriter, who hails from Hereford, will collect her trophy at the annual awards ceremony at London's Earls Court on February 16.
Goulding released her first single 'Under The Sheets' last month and is currently working on her debut album for a March release. Earlier this week she was named on the BBC's Sound of 2010 longlist.
Discussing the Brits accolade, Goulding said: "When I found out, I had a little squeal, I had a little cry and I had a little fall down! I didn't believe it at first, but now that it's sunk in I am delighted and utterly honoured to have been given this award. I couldn't be more happy and thankful to everyone right now."
The previous two Critics' Choice prizes – open to signed British artists who are set to release their debut album in the coming year – were won by Adele and Florence and the Machine.
"We are delighted that with the introduction of this award, we have been able to give a platform to brand new British artists in the past two years to reach a wider audience," said Brits Committee Chairman Ged Doherty. "We have no doubt that Ellie Goulding will follow in the successful footsteps of Adele and Florence and the Machine. We wish her all the best."
Behind Goulding, Manchester four-piece Delphic and Welsh singer-songwriter Marina and the Diamonds were named as second and third place runners-up.