Ed Sheeran failed music college course

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The singer-songwriter received six F grades from the Academy of Contemporary Music after dropping out to go on tour, a new exhibition reveals.

Ed Sheeran failed his music college course before he went on to global stardom and an estimated wealth of £160 million.

The singer-songwriter’s F grades in all six of his music subjects, including songcraft and professional musicianship, are set out in a letter from the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford in 2010.

The document forms part of a free exhibition, called Ed Sheeran: Made In Suffolk, which opens in Ipswich on Tuesday.

Ed Sheeran exhibition in Ipswich
Memorabilia of Ed Sheeran’s journey to global stardom is on display at a free exhibition in Ipswich (Nicole Dury/PA)

He was invited to be the support act on a tour with Just Jack in 2009 so dropped out to pursue his big break.

A year later he got a letter with his resulting F grades, and told his father and mother, Imogen Sheeran.

The letter confirming Ed Sheeran failed all his music subjects at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford (Ipswich Borough Council/PA)

“He then rang us to say that he was determined to go on the tour, even if it meant him leaving college.


“Neither of us were surprised.

Ed Sheeran exhibition in Ipswich
A portrait of the artist …. pictures of Ed Sheeran are among the exhibits (Nicole Dury/PA)

“Imogen and I caught up with him supporting Just Jack at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

“Ed’s soon-to-be manager Stuart Camp was also there.


“The following August, Ed showed us a letter he received from ACM, which included his final results: Fail for Musicianship and Fail for Songcraft – hardly surprising as he never returned.”

Ed Sheeran exhibition in Ipswich
A 2004 school report descried Ed Sheeran as ‘a natural performer’ (Nicole Dury/PA)

A 2004 school report describes the form 8JE student as a “natural performer”.

The exhibition will run until May next year.

It is free but due to the expected level of demand people are asked to book at

The exhibition has been timed to coincide with four homecoming concerts in Ipswich.

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