The singer-songwriter is up for 'Best Single' for 'The A Team', 'Best Album' for +, 'Best Male' and 'Best Breakthrough'.
Jessie J and Adele are close behind with three nominations each, while Florence + the Machine, Coldplay, Emeli Sandé, Bon Iver and Aloe Blacc have all been recognised in two categories.
> Brit Awards 2012 nominations in full
Speaking to BBC News at the launch party red carpet, the 20-year-old said that he is "ecstatic, really happy and pleased" to be recognised.
2011 Critics' Choice winner Jessie J is up for three gongs, 'Best Female', 'Best Breakthrough' and 'Best Single' for 'Price Tag'.
She commented: "I would never have imagined this last year. I remember sitting at the table and thinking, next year I want to be voted 'Best Female'.
"Even if I don't win, it's just being nominated and the feeling of that."
Meanwhile, Adele's three nods are for 'Best Single' with 'Someone Like You', 'Best Album' with 21 and 'Best Female'.
Elsewhere, Coldplay are recognised in the 'Best Album' category for Mylo Xyloto as well as 'Best Group'.
Mercury Prize-winner PJ Harvey is also included in the 'Best Album' category for Let England Shake, while Kate Bush gets a nomination as 'Best Female'.
> Brit Awards 2012 nominees in pictures
The nominations were revealed by Greg James at The Savoy in London this evening.
Sandé, who performed alongside Sheeran at tonight's launch, has been chosen as the recipient of this year's Critics' Choice award.
Adele, Coldplay, Sheeran, Florence + the Machine, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Bruno Mars have all been confirmed to perform live at this year's Brits.
Blur, who are to collect the 'Outstanding Contribution to Music' award, will also take to the stage.
The Brit Awards 2012 take place at London's O2 Arena on February 21. The show will be broadcast live on ITV1.
> Brit Awards 2012 partners with Vevo online music site
Watch Ed Sheeran discuss his nominations below:
Scroll through a gallery of all this year's nominees below: