Interim planning guidance will be produced in spring 2004, with an outline planning application due next summer.
SEEDA chief executive Anthony Dunnett said that the scheme would revitalise the area.
He said: "The main objectives for the site include the provision of employment opportunities, a range of additional housing, revitalisation of the centre of Woolston, enabling public access to the waterfront and provision of open space."
Southampton council leader Adrian Vinson said the scheme was a great opportunity for the city.
Vinson, who is also the city's design champion, said: "I'm delighted with this news, and the opportunity to bring architects of international standing and vision to work in the city."
The masterplan will be monitored by a cross-party steering group, and a technical working party has been set up involving the key players and the council.
The competition attracted 55 firms, and RRP was selected from a shortlist of five.