Hi I'm a Canadian student currently at the University of Toronto completing my undergrad degree in history. I'm currently heading to Queen's University to do my MA in history. I'd like to go on to do a PhD ideally at a school like Oxford or Cambridge. I have strong references and solid research topic, but my current GPA is hovering at around a 3.57-3.60 out of a 4.0 scale. To my understanding this equates to somewhere around a mid to high-Upper Second-Class Honours, but I'm not too sure cause I keep getting conflicting info regarding this.
If I hypothetically got strong grades during my MA program as well as strong references and such does this offset my mediocre grades and put me in contention to apply to Cambridge, Oxford, or any other top-tier history PhD program, or should I abandon the pursuit for now and all time?