The movie, which is heavily tipped for the Oscars, picked up nominations for McQueen and three of its stars and is in the running to be named best film.
The other contenders for best film include Philomena, which is based on the true story of a woman’s search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption in 1950s Ireland.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery in America’s deep south in 12 Years A Slave, is nominated for the leading actor gong while co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Ireland’s Michael Fassbender are nominated for supporting actress and actor respectively.
Ejiofor, who grew up in London, said: “I continue to be immensely proud of the recognition this film is getting around the world. There is, of course, something particularly special about receiving a Bafta nomination from home.”
Bookmakers immediately installed Ejiofor as favourite to win his category with odds of 1/4 and made 12 Years A Slave favourite to be named best film.
The other contenders for best film are Captain Phillips, American Hustle and Gravity.
Ejiofor faces competition for the leading actor gong from veteran Bruce Dern for his role in Nebraska and Hollywood stars, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
Dame Judi Dench is nominated for the leading actress award for her role in Philomena.
She is in the running with Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Emma Thompson and Sandra Bullock for Gravity.
Film critic Mark Kermode said he expected the outer space drama to provide the main competition to 12 Years A Slave for prizes.
The EE British Academy Film Awards will be held in London on Feb 16.
Other nominees for best supporting actor include Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon, along with Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi, and Daniel Bruhl who played Niki Lauda in Formula 1 film, Rush.
Also recognised was US chatshow host Oprah Winfrey, nominated for best supporting actress for her role in The Butler.
That category also sees Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts nominated along with Sally Hawkins for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
McQueen is nominated for the best director award along with big names including Paul Greengrass and Martin Scorsese.
Comic and actor Steve Coogan is nominated for best adapted screenplay for his work with Jeff Pope on Philomena.
Leading the pack in number of nominations with 11 was Gravity, one ahead of both 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle.
Here are the contenders for the main categories:
12 Years A Slave
Bruce Dern for Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years A Slave
Christian Bale forAmerican Hustle
Leonardo DiCaprio forThe Wolf Of Wall Street
Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips
Amy Adams for American Hustle
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
Emma Thompson forSaving Mr Banks
Judi Dench for Philomena
Sandra Bullock forGravity
Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl for Rush
Matt Damon for Behind The Candelabra
Michael Fassbender for12 Years A Slave
Jennifer Lawrence forAmerican Hustle
Julia Roberts forAugust: Osage County
Lupita Nyong’o for12 Years A Slave
Oprah Winfrey for The Butler
Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
Despicable Me 2
Hans Zimmer for 12 Years A Slave
John Williams for The Book Thief
Henry Jackman for Captain Phillips
Steven Price for Gravity
Thomas Newman for Saving Mr Banks